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President Mills' Photos Not In Schools   
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Two years after an official directive to schools in the country to hang the portrait of the President in classrooms, many schools in the Accra Metropolis are still without them, a 'Times' survey has shown.

Of some 30 schools sampled, throughout the 11 sub metros none had complied and the school authorities complained that the government had not given them budget of the purchase of the portraits.

This was confirmed by the Ghana Education Service whose Public Relations Officer, Paul Krampah, said the schools had been asked to procure the portraits by themselves.

He said the schools could use part of the Capitation Grant for the purpose, posing the question, “after all, how much does a portrait cost?”

Mr. Krampah said the government could not bear the cost of portraits for the over 44,000 primary schools, 8,000 junior high schools and 500 senior high schools countrywide.

The directive was a reminder issued in the 2010-2011 academic year by the Ministry of Information after a primary school pupil in the Ashanti Region reportedly failed to give the name of the President when the Regional Minister posed the question during a visit.

One year on, a similar incident occurred at Agona Nsabaa in the Central Region, when two pupils failed to tell the President’s name when asked by the Agona East District Chief Executive, Martin Luther Obeng.

Almost all schools in the 11 sub-metropolitan assemblies in Accra had not complied with the directive. There were no portraits of the President either in the offices or the classrooms.

Madam Christiana Obeng, Head teacher of La Presbyterian A/B Schools, said when the directive was given, they expected to receive the portraits from either the Metropolitan Education Directorate of Ministry of Education.

She said she would readily hang the portraits as soon as the school received them.

However, she said in the absence of the portraits, the teachers were making efforts to teach the pupils the profiles of persons occupying high positions in the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary.
Two pupils from Primary Four and Five in the school correctly gave the names of the President and Speaker of Parliament when the 'Times' asked.

In a sample of public views on the issue, one school of thought said pupils’ ability to know who the President of Ghana is does not lie in the hanging of portraits of the President in schools, but rather it is the substance of what the children are taught in the classrooms which would determine their level of knowledge about national office holders
Others are, however, of the view that hanging the portrait in the classrooms would help.
Source: Ghanaian Times

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