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Upper East Regional Minister links student riots to substance abuse, urges vigilance

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During the 67th Independence Day parade in the Upper East region, the Regional Minister, Stephen Yakubu, mentioned substance abuse, including tramadol and marijuana, as significant factors contributing to the spate of student riots witnessed in schools across the region.

Between 2020 and 2023, students in some schools in the region rioted and caused destruction of properties belonging to the schools and individuals worth thousands of cedis. Among these schools include Kongo Senior High School, Bolgatanga Technical Institute, St. Bernadette Technical Institute, Sandema Senior High School, Fumbisi Agricultural Senior High School, Bawku Technical Institute, and Zebilla Senior High Technical Institute.

In his address to attendees at the parade in Bolgatanga, Mr. Yakubu expressed concern over the growing incidence of student unrest, emphasizing the need for heightened awareness and proactive measures to address the root causes behind these troubling incidents.

“Also of concern is the issue of substance abuse among students, such as tramadol and marijuana, which lead to psychiatric challenges and also account for the numerous student riots witnessed in our schools, which have often led to massive destruction of school properties. I would like to urge all stakeholders in education to play their respective roles to reverse these negative trends, and that our surest way to eradicate the ills of society, such as poverty, disease, and ignorance, is education,” remarked Mr. Yakubu.

In addition, he says students’ truancy, lateness, absenteeism on the part of teachers, and parental neglect account for the poor performance of students.

Mr. Yakubu called for collaborative efforts between government agencies, educational institutions, parents, and community stakeholders to tackle the menace of substance abuse effectively.

Speaking on the relevance of the Independence anniversary, the minister said the day is set aside to “rekindle the spirit of patriotism, sacrifice, and above all, love for the country.” He paid glowing tribute to the founding fathers of the country for their toils in fighting to liberate the country from slavery.

Bolgatanga Municipal Chief Executive, Rex Asanga, admonished society to uphold the principles of democracy, rule of law, transparency, and accountability.

He reminded students on parade to study hard to become future leaders while the government and stakeholders strive to improve the standards of education.

“You must study hard to become useful people in our society and eschew all negative tendencies that will spell your doom. Be obedient to authority and follow the right channels to seek redress for grievances you have both in school and at home,” he stated.

In all, 1,350 students from both private and public schools in the Bolgatanga municipality, security services, and organized groups observed the regional parade of Ghana’s 67th Independence Day celebration, which took place at the Ramsey Park. The celebration was held under the theme: “Our Democracy, Our Pride.”

Source: A1Radioonline.com|101.1Mhz|Joshua Asaah|Bolgatanga|Ghana

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