Professor Alexander Nii Oto Dodoo, Associate Professor, Ghana Medical School, University of Ghana (UG), Legon, has called for an egalitarian state where no one will go to bed hungry.
We need a state: “Where every person living on planet earth has access to good quality and affordable healthcare. Where no woman may have to sell her jewellery just to pay for medical bills or… prostitute herself to ensure that there is food on the table for the family.”
Prof Dodoo made the call at the launch of the 60th anniversary of St John’s Grammar School on the theme: “60 years of hard work: A platform for greater height.”
He said if education was all about money, then he, a little boy from James Town in Accra would not have made it to St John’s Grammar School in September 1976.
“How else would a boy from James Town become a world leading expert on the safety of medicines and vaccines?”
Among his long credentials, Prof Dodoo is currently the Director of the World Health Organisation’s Centre for Advocacy and Training in Pharmacovigilance at the UG.
He said: “We live in a very unfair world where hundreds of millions of people go to bed without the basic necessities of food, shelter and clothing and yet millions have so much that they throw away tonnes of food and discard clothes sometimes after using them once.
“We live in a world where people can afford to spend thousands on booze and yet millions can’t even afford to buy essential medicines.”
Prof Dodoo noted that education without values is useless, adding: “There can never be a good educational system if values and philosophies are not into each and every lecture.”
Mr Nii Djanmah Vanderpuye, Deputy Greater Accra Regional Minister and alumni of the school, observed that education as a tool empowers and expands the resource base of a nation, leading to sustainable economic and social development.
“The mission statement for education as obtained in the education strategic plan 2010-2020 is to provide relevant education with emphasis on science, information, communication and technology”, he said.
Mr Vanderpuye cautioned the students against cyber fraud, drug abuse and other social vices.
Ms Helen Mary Bainson, Regional Deputy Director of Nursing Services, and a former student of St John’s Grammar, who chaired the function called on the old students and other stakeholders to help complete ongoing projects on campus.
Mrs Gloria Laryea, Headmistress, said the school, which started in May 16, 1954 with four students, now has a student population of 1,900 with 78 teaching staff.
She called for the completion of 12-unit classroom block and a girl’s dormitory initiated by Ghana Education Fund.
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