The President of the Foundation for Generational Thinkers (FOGET), Mr Prosper Afetsi has charged first and second cycle school students to make maximum use of the opportunity given to them by the government to return to schools after nine months of staying at home.
He said they should, therefore, guard against any forms of distractions and keep their focus while in schools and abide by all the COVID-19 safety etiquettes wherever they found themselves.
“Whether we like it or not we have to go back to school. COVID-19 affected the entire world and every school in the country was shut down because of the pandemic. That is why it is important for you to put aside all that we have gone through and focus on what is ahead,” he said.
Mr Afetsi, who was contributing to a discussion dubbed “Why am I in school?”, said once they (students) had their dreams to pursue, they should work towards achieving them with their return to school instead of brooding over the period of school closure.
In the course of writing their examinations, he said, students should be minded by the fact that standards would not be lowered because of COVID-19 and so they should study well before entering the examinational halls.
“Universities and other higher institutions of learning would not lower their cut off points because of COVID-19, you will need to pass your exams. If you have a dream of becoming a doctor or a lawyer, they are dreams that are achievable and that all you have to do is to keep excelling in your examinations.
“Nobody would lower the bar for medical school because of COVID-19 and so students must know that they have to work extra hard,” he said.
Mr Afetsi indicated that for instance, the West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) and Basic Educational Certificate Examination (BECE) certificates would not have inscriptions of COVID-19 on them for some favours in the years ahead and that it was based on their performance that they would be considered for further studies.
“We all have a new opportunity to start all over again and so let’s position ourselves well and make use of the opportunity,” he said.
The FOGET president said he was appalled at the amount of time students at the pre-tertiary level spent on social media platforms, especially Whatsapp and Facebook, adding that it was time they changed such a behaviour.
“Now students spend all their time on their phones engaging in needless chats and visiting unproductive sites. Yes, we can’t do without phone and technology in these present times but what we have to do as students is to spend enough time on our books and limit the needless time we spend with friends on phone and on social media,” he said.
Again, he said, they (students) should be mindful of friends who might try to distract them, adding that having sat at home for so many months, their focus now should be on their studies by making up for the lost periods of studies last year.