POOR EDUCATION IN TAMALE ATTRIBUTED TO “SAKAWA” ACTIVITIES
A development oriented group called Conscientize Youth Ambassadors based in the Northern Region, has revealed that knowledge acquired on Information Communication Technology (ICT) by basic school pupils in the Metropolis is being abused.
According to the group, research it conducted unraveled that about 80% of basic school pupils below 18 in the Tamale Metropolis were misapplying their ICT knowledge they acquired by venturing into the practice of internet fraud popularly known in the Ghanaian parlance as “Sakawa”.
Internet fraud according to ICT experts’ means, the use of online services to present fraudulent solicitations to prospective victims, to conduct fraudulent transactions, or to transmit the proceeds of fraud to financial institutions or to others connected with the scheme. Internet fraud can occur in chat rooms, e-mail, message boards, or Web sites.
The findings disclosed that internet cafes in the Tamale Metropolis, were often taken over by children below 18 especially during schooling hours which it noted should be a concern to all parents and stakeholders in education.
The discovery among other emerging issues also mentioned early sexual relationship among teenagers in basic schools and concluded that the falling standard of education in the Tamale Metropolis should be attributed to such immoral practices.
For instance, the illiteracy rate of the Northern Region according to the 2000 census figures is 76.2%. National statistics also indicate that the literacy rate among adults living in rural areas of the region is lower than 7%. Approximately 40% of school-age children are out of school, the majority being girls. Most children do not complete the compulsory nine years of primary schooling and, consequently, do not attain a basic literacy level.
At a public lecture organized at the Bagabaga Ridge Junior High School, Abdul-Salam Saani of the Conscientize Youth Ambassadors group, warned the students against practices that would ruin their future.
He said education has become a huge investment hence the need for parents and school authorities to intensify their monitoring and supervisory roles to constantly keep school children in the classroom.
Mr. Abdul-Salam lamented that attempts to bridge the yawning gap between the North and the South of Ghana would be an illusion if efforts were not made to restrict school children from social vices that would make them go astray in society.
Ben Bukari, Headmaster of Bagabaga Ridge JHS commended the youth group for embarking on that crusade and underscored the need for the students to place premium on their education by reforming their lifestyles.
Miss Rebecca Luntra and Master Ahmed Awal, the Girls Prefect and School Prefect respectively, lauded the exercise and urged their colleagues to live exemplary lifestyles that would make them become productive citizens.