Selected Schools in the Tema Metropolitan Assembly on Wednesday commemorated Ghana’s 62nd independence anniversary in style and grandeur with a parade at the Tema Sports Stadium.
The independence parade, held on the national theme: “Celebrating peace and unity, ”was not only characterized by the accustomed march-past by selected pupils and security personnel, but also interesting cultural displays by exquisitely dressed pupils and observers alike.
Hundreds of residents of Tema, who defied the searing sunshine, trooped to and filled the stadium amidst pomp and pageantry.
Traders were not left out of the celebration as they took the opportunity to sell colourful paraphernalia to mark the anniversary.
In all, 26 contingents; consisting 1560 students, 52 teachers, 180 members from Cadet Corps, the St. Paul’s Methodist Brigade Band and other voluntary organizations, Security Chiefs and dignitaries were in attendance.
The Metropolitan Chief Executive, Mr Felix Mensah Nii Anang-La, in the company of the Community One Commander of Police, Chief Superintendent Stephen Kwakyi and the Metro Director of Education, Madam Margaret Nsiah Asamoah, took the national salute as pupils took turns to march.
Addressing the parade, Madam Margaret Nsiah Asamoah, the Tema Metropolitan Director of Education, said for the country to develop with an educated populace, it ought to happen in an atmosphere peace and tranquility.
She said the annual parade had transcended the usual funfair, but now afforded Ghanaians the opportunity to have introspective moments to reflect on their gains after independence and the greater task of ensuring the development of the country and ultimately consolidating the peace prevailing in the country.
“Peace and unity are the building blocks and the basic requirements of every nation and in spite of our religious and socio-cultural differences, we still remain ever united”, she said, adding that that peace was paramount in the overall success and development of the country and could not be compromised or taken for granted.
She expressed worry about the increasing numbers of pupils - some as young as 10 years - who dropped out of school every year as a result of pregnancies, and said the situation was alarming and strict measures needed to nip the phenomenon in the bud.
The Metropolitan Director of Education indicated that figures from the Ministry of Education in the 2016 and 2017 academic year revealed that, on a national scale, a total of 7,575 school girls in both public and private schools got pregnant.
This included; 1,444 girls in primary school, 5,254 in Junior High School and 877 in Senior High School.
Marijuana and other illicit drug use and abuse among Ghanaians of school-going age, she further stated, was also alarming and called on religious and traditional leaders to join in the fight to secure the future of Ghanaian children.
Mr Felix Mensah Nii Anang-La, the Metropolitan Chief Executive of Tema, who read the Independence Day speech on behalf of the President, called for renewed peace and security in the Metropolis and the country as a whole.
He said for the country to develop in an atmosphere of peace and unity, there was need to have a credible and professional police service, with an even more cooperative populace, who would respect and trust their legitimate operations.
At the end of the parade, certificates were presented to the Mante-Din Drive Basic School and Chemu Senior High School all in Tema Community One, for placing first in the march-past in the Basic and Senior High School categories respectively.
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