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'Let’s Build Ghana Beyond Filth' - JHS Students Cry   
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Ghana's overwhelming waste problem needs a holistic approach of involving the youth in clean and healthy environment process, where they would be tasked with the responsibility to device sustainable means to help reduce or eradicate filth.

To achieve this, a youth oriented not for profit organization, Foundation for Generational Thinkers (FOGET) organised a contest for Junior High Schools (JHS) students to produce a sustainable solutions that address poor waste conditions in their localities.

The contest by name, "FOGET-GNAPS Quiz and Challenge Competition 2018" aimed at pushing students to address the question: "Your community has been filt-laden: Device means by which waste can be properly managed to ensure clean environment".

FOGET in collaboration with the Ghana National Association of Private Schools (GNAPS), Greater Accra Zone '5' and with support of other organizations like Ghana Ohuade Company Limited, Robertkusco Enterprise, AKAKUBI Enterprise and Bluecrest University College last Friday in Accra drawn the curtain down on the programme that has been running for months.

S. Sowah Boye Memorial School was adjourned winner of the competition, for coming out with some practicable solutions that can help address poor sanitation conditions especially in Chorkor and its enclave.

S. Sowah Boye Memorial School stood in contest with New Generation Preparatory School which came second, Joehans Academy, third, and St. Charles Preparatory School, fourth, after they all presented their findings and solutions to how waste should be tackled.

The four schools entered into the 'Challenge Competition' after wining over 36 schools, all drawn from GNAPS Greater Accra Zone '5' in a quiz.

The winner school head cash prize, desktop computer, books & certificate, 2nd school received cash, printer, stationary & certificate, third placement got cash, printer, book & certificate, and forth placed school also had some prizes.

Their (schools) presentations were judged by Emmanuel Addai, communication specialist, who was the chair of the panel, Ama Ofori Antwi, Executive Secretary to the Environmental Service Providers Association (ESPA) and ING. Joy Hesse Ankomah of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The schools were judged according to the solutions they were able to provide after three weeks research they conducted in some communities, alongside touring of some waste management companies' sites in Accra.

According to the judges most of the schools generalized their findings and solutions, hence fialed to tackle the question properly for the research outcomes to community specific.

Nevertheless, they congratulated the students for putting themselves up to be tested, in order to contribute their quote to national development even at these young stages of their lives.

They lauded FOGET and GNAPS for the initiative to raise and ignite the spirit of patriotism in the youth, so as, to make them responsible to their environment.

The outgoing Metro Education Director of Accra, Mr. Eugene Yeboah, who was present to grace the occasion, charged teachers to live up to their mandates, since one of the concerns raised by the judges was that the teachers failed to give their students proper support and guidance to conduct the research.

He said it is mandated on teachers to follow strict instructions to guide and instruct their students in achieving the goals and purpose of a given task.

He, therefore, encouraged them to look for help if the need be to effectively teach a subject or direct students.

He also congratulated the students for putting out their best in attempt to provide solutions to the poor waste management that had become shackles weighing the country down.

The contest, he said has helped the students work and learn together as team, saying " this project has compelled you to read from many sources while you were conducting your research. It is said that a reader today is a leader tomorrow. Please don't stop, continue to read more."

He promised to champion the programme in Upper Denkyere East Municipal area in the Central Region, where he has been appointed as a new Municipal Education Director.

Prosper Dan Afetsi, President and founder of FOGET said the aim of the 'Challenge' was to help students apply their knowledge they have acquired in the classroom to solve real-life problems, especially facing their respective communities.

Mr. Afetsi was convinced that major development problems facing the country were as a result of students inability to connect academic to real-time challenges. To him, many times Ghana has to fall on foreign expertises to solve problems that can easily be taken care of by Ghanaians.

 Since civil societies have roles to play in development, he strongly believed that nurturing 'the can do spirit in the Ghanaian,' by providing them opportunities and responsibilities to help them to explore.

He added that FOGET-GNAPS Quiz and Challenge Competition is one of such programme tailored towards putting the youth to the task, adding "though the curtain on the quiz and challenge has been drawn down, we still have clubs that are still running in the various schools."
Source: Peacefmonline.com

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