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Friday, July 31, 2009

Thousands of SHS graduates idle at home annually

Accra, July 30, GNA - Mr Samuel Ablakwa Okudzeto, Deputy Minister of Information, said on Thursday in Accra that more than 100,000 Senior High School (SHS) graduates idle at home annually, a trend that has to be reversed.

"Indeed, Ghana faces a youth that is disengaged and lack the necessary skills, knowledge and disposition to participate in and carry out their civic duties," he added.

Mr. Okuzdeto said this in a speech read for him at a national stakeholders forum on SHS graduates under the theme, "SHS Graduates - Worthy allies for National Development."

Organized by Student Youth Travel Organization and sponsored by the Canadian High Commission, the forum is aimed at finding ways to engage SHS graduates as worthy allies for national development, brainstorm on a national service module for SHS graduates, and draw a communiqu=E9 for presentation to the President of the Republic of Ghana.

The forum is part of activities to spearhead the Ghana Youth Ambassadors Project, formed nine years ago to groom selected contestants from 65 SHS on their talents and on leadership roles, marketing strategies, aptitude test, as well as self realization. Winners will take part in Canada's World Youth Programme held each year. Mr. Okudzeto said it was time the Ministry of Information and other stakeholders committed themselves to chart the path of recognizing, engaging and sustaining the youth as allies in national development.

He said discussions were ongoing to engage SHS graduates in the ministry, adding that very soon concrete solutions would be arrived at. He said the Ministry would support high quality workshops on a regular basis for the youth, as it would build the knowledge, skills, and confidence needed to transform them into useful citizens. He said the ministry would rely on the national film and television institute to produce documentaries on the programmes of youth advocates, adding that the Information Services Department and the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation could use the documentaries for public education campaigns.

Mr. Gideon Kwamla Oyiadzo, Chief Executive of Schoolmates Investments, said SHS graduates could be engaged through attachments, internship and in-service training, volunteerism, exchange programmes, sporting activities, entrepreneurial workshops, and seminars to aid national development.

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