Mr Emmanuel Kofi Adanu, Deputy Director of Education in charge of Higher Institutions in the Volta Region, on Tuesday chastised policy makers for “investing too much in the elderly”.

“Many of our policies favour only the elderly which is a misplacement of natural order of things,” he said. Mr Adanu made his views known when he officially opened “Project Citizen Ghana-Volta Regional Showcase”, in Ho on the theme: “Qualitative youth participation in Ghana’s democracy.”

Project Citizen is a National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) programme for junior and senior high school students aimed at promoting competent and responsible participation in local and state government and helping the participants learn how to monitor and influence public policy.

Mr Adanu said it was unfortunate that the country’s systems ignored young people in its democratic dispensation, adding that until the situation is reversed; the country would pay dearly for it.
He said although “It is true that our tradition and culture demands that the child is silent,” one cannot tell the reservoir of knowledge in young people.

“We must not forget that knowledge is not a preserve of the elderly,” he said. Mr Adanu therefore called for guidelines to involve the country’s youth in public discourse.

“We have to engage our young people positively in public discourse and protect them against manipulations from politicians,” he said. Mr Adanu urged the NCCE to expand the project to benefit all school children in the country.

Mr Harrison Kofi Belley, Regional Director of NCCE urged the media to blacklist splinter youth groups, which spring up during the election period and use the media to malign high profile personalities. “The media must not aid political toddlers to misdirect their youthful exuberance to negative issues,” he said.

Mrs Fanny Kumah, Co-ordinator of Project Citizen-Ghana said youth participation in Ghana’s democracy is very critical.
She urged young people to seek information, knowledge and other necessary tools to participate effectively in public discourse and not use abusive language.

She expressed the hope that the Project would prepare students to be able to monitor and make useful suggestion to resolve problems in their localities. “The Project is to equip you to be civil, tolerant and open minded to help resolve problems and stop calling into radio programmes asking government to do everything for your community,” Mrs Kumah said.

Selected junior high and senior high schools would compete for honours in the competition scheduled for three days.

Source: gna