YOUTH ARENA NETWORK ORGANISES LEARNING STRATEGIES SEMINAR FOR SENIOR HIGH/TECHNICAL SCHOOLS IN THE JASIKAN DISTRICT.
The founder and CEO of Youth Arena Network, an education focused youth organisation registered with the National Youth Authority, Ghana, Aaron Lordstone Kpogo and his honourable resourceful persons in the person of Divine Kpe and Bright Dey, engaged senior high and technical school students within the Jasikan district for a three day program from January 26th-28th 2016, dubbed “PURSUING ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE: THE ACT OF APPLYING CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS”.
Students form the main object of instruction in our various educational institutions. As part of their obligation is their ability to study and pass examinations, in order to qualify for the next level in their academic progression. Unfortunately, we have witnessed various attempts by some students over successive years who tried to adopt foul means to pass exams without the basic principle of engaging and developing their mental capacity to read, think, learn and understand what they were taught. The accompanying effect has been the high exams failure rates in WAEC organised exams.
Records from WACE have shown that over the past ten years, the pass mark rate of students who sat for WASSCE and qualify to access tertiary education has been in the region of maximum 31.19% in 2012 and below.
The factors accounting for these high percentages in exams failures by WASSCE candidates are multifaceted. Nonetheless, the CEO of Youth Arena Network has identified that, students’ inability to know how to learn and to comprehend what is being taught, largely account for these high failure rates. Teachers often than not tell students to learn, but not how to learn. Not knowing the ‘HOW’ approach to learning makes most of them easily give up on learning their books.
Another factor identified, is the over concentration or premium given to a few schools in the urban sectors in relation to access to reading materials, internet, physical infrastructures, motivational exposures to students, etc. at the disadvantage of the majority of schools in the remote areas and regions in Ghana. Yet, all final year candidates across the country are mandated to write the same standardised WAEC exams each year. This he believes is the reason we have consistently been revolving almost around the same percentages of pass marks over these years, since emphasis is concentrated on a few schools.
He has therefore taken deliberate steps to empower students in learning skills and to champion positive behavioural attitudes towards learning among students across the country.
This program is part of the broader objective of fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals on Education especially objective 4:1. It states “by 2030, ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes”.
The learning strategies seminar is one of the platforms he plans using to reach all SH/T schools in the country, hence, for the first time extending their services from Accra closer to the students in the Jasikan district. The program was very impactful, as our resource persons missed no words in challenging students to make the best use of their minds by disciplining themselves to stay focused on their books and sacrifice anything that will not help them to achieve their academic goals at the end of the day. They were admonished to be solution oriented thinkers, instead of complaining at the least opportunity. At the end of each session books related to the theme were donated to stock the libraries of these schools. This is meant to aid students internalise these principles as they engage in reading them over time. A little above 2000 students in four different SH/TS were empowered.
Below are some feedback’s from some of the heads of schools and students:
“Your coming is so timely, at a time management and staffs were deciding on how to motivate students to learn. I can conclusively say, this seminar is not just meant for students, but staffs also have something to learn from. Indeed, this seminar has been very beneficial to all”. -Rev. Edison Adekode. (Asst. Headmaster for Academics, Bueman SHS)
“This has been the most successful seminar in the area of learning strategies for students. We are so enlightened and we thank God for your coming”. –Mr. Divine. (Teacher, Bueman SHS)
“What you have just taught us, in fact, we really appreciate them. As students, we need more of these messages to take immediate actions on them. In the class, teachers are teaching, but our minds are on other things, when instead that is what is needed to cope with lessons and understand what is being taught”. –Nelson Gormadu. (Student, Bueman SHS).
“The students are having learning difficulties, hence, what they have learnt here will empower them to focus on their books”. –Snr. House Master, Okadyakrom SHTS
“The program has benefited us a lot, because we now have knowledge on how to learn”. -Girls prefect, Father Dogli Memory SHTS
“The program has come at the right time where students are deficient in learning. The program has exposed students to a lot of things and enlightened them to change their attitudes towards learning and this will translate into good academic performances”. -Snr. House Master, Father Dogli Memory SHTS.
Despite the rough terrain vi’s-à-via the road network, climate and remote locations, the positive responses from both students and teaching staff of the need for more of such engagements was enough to keep the enthusiasm of the speakers alive.
Everyone; both individuals and corporate organisations are stakeholders in education, as such the time has come for all to come on board to deliberately work in bringing about the needed improvement in students’ performances, rather than looking at it from an individual household perspective. As a nation, we cannot desire to see improvement in the candidates’ results, when we keep doing the same old things and using the same approaches.
Many students who could not pass their final exams have given up on hope; hence the time to act is now. The CEO of Youth Arena Network is therefore inviting individuals and corporate organisation to come on board to champion this noble campaign by sponsoring books to stock the libraries of schools in the remote areas of Ghana, while they, in turn, promise to actively engage their time, energy and intellectual abilities and properties across the entire country to help shape the learning skills and decision making abilities of our future generation (students).
Special thanks go to Divine Kpe, the CEO of Teen Age Build-Ghana and Bright Dey, the CEO of Communities of Thinking and the Head of planning and Stats. Unit, Ho regional GES Directorate, for availing their time and knowledge in making this program a success.
Also, to Nelson Agordoh, God richly bless you for making 40 copies of your book titled; ‘FIFTY SECRETS EVERY SHS STUDENT MUST KNOW’ in addition to mine at no cost as donations to the libraries of these schools.
To our media partners, Lorlornyo fm, Cape360 and Education Ghana; we appreciate you all for coming on board. Also, to the SHS coordinator for Jasikan District, Mr. Joseph Adeti, to the heads of schools, teaching staff and all students, for making this program a success.
The last special thanks go to God Almighty in his direction, guidance, favour and protection throughout the program.
Watch out for the next edition!
Contact: +233 0242548430 for enquiries or to extend a hand of help.
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/youtharenanetwork
“The ingredients for true success in life go beyond just excelling in academics within the formal school system”. -Aaron Lordstone
If you are a Senior High/ Technical student within Cape coast & its environs or you have a relative, friend, sibling, son or daughter around, kindly inform them to join their school members to attend this life transforming program come this Saturday. Kindly see poster for details.
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This is the fruit of obedience & manifestation of God’s purposed assignment. To the glory of God, I won the EDUCATIONAL BOOK Award Category, at the just ended NATIONAL EDUCOM AWARDS organised by NEOGENICS EDUCATION.”
The ceremony was held at the Holiday Inn hotel at Accra Airport City on the 27th August, 2016. In attendance were very important personalities from different backgrounds who have dedicated their time, energy and resources in ensuring the betterment of Ghana’s educational sector and the quality of teaching and learning in our school system in diverse ways.
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