Miss Doris A. Bramson, Headmistress of St Mary’s Senior High School, has appealed to the Ghana Education Service (GES) to review the Unified Code of Discipline for second cycle institutions in the country.
She said as matter of urgency, there was the need for GES to ensure that the Unified Code of Discipline had teeth to bite and also make it punitive enough to match the pranks of modern-day teenagers whose antics were many years ahead of their parents and teachers.
Miss Bramson made the appeal during the 63rd Speech and Prize-giving Day of the school in Accra on Saturday.
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She said, “The challenges of grooming the youth, especially young girls these days is an uphill task and appreciated by a few. While I agree with those who think that rights of the child should always be valued, our rights must always go with our responsibilities.”
She said the theme, “Sustaining Discipline in Today’s Youth: Challenges for Stakeholders,” was chosen for the occasion to address some of the burning challenges they face as teachers and school administrators.
She said the high level of indiscipline among some students in second cycle schools, sometimes with the tacit support of their parents, was undermining academic work and negatively affecting other innocent students.
Miss Bramson also made an appeal to all parents and guardians to allow and support teachers to carve a responsible future for their children and wards, because no matter how brilliantly conceived a school system was, it would not work effectively unless all stakeholders put their hands to the wheel.
“In this vein, I urge parents not to see disciplinary measures aimed at supporting academic and moral life in school as human rights violation,” she said.
The headmistress said developing the mind was important, but developing a conscience was the most precious gift a parent could give a child.
She said parents should therefore remember that the much sought after Catholic education that they clamour for their children at the school was truly holistic and not just academic.
Miss Bramson said from a determined group of 10 pioneers and two hardworking teachers in 1950, the school now has a population of 1,035 students, 40 teaching staff, two national service persons and 46 non-teaching staff.
She said in the 2012 West Africa Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination, they performed very well.
Miss Bramson paid a glowing tribute to the founding fathers of the school and praised them for their great vision and foresight.
Mrs Laurenda Owusu, a Justice of the High Court and guest speaker, urged teachers, policymakers and parents to adopt positive approaches towards instilling discipline in the youth.
Miss Cecilia Naa Aforkor Laryea, School Prefect, said discipline was the hallmark of the school and that has enabled them to excel in all areas of life.
Miss Laryea appealed for funds on behalf of Miss Deborah Ayete, a final year student of the school and a hole-in-heart patient, to enable her undergo surgery at the cost of €10,000.00, of which the Korle Bu Cardio Thoracic Centre was absorbing half.
She said the students, out of their widow’s mite, had contributed GH¢2,000.00 and appealed to all and sundry to help save Miss Ayete’s life.
The 1988 and 1990 Year Group of the Old Girls Association, who sponsored the 63rd Anniversary Celebration of the school, said they did it in appreciation of the school that had given help to shape their lives.