“Things are changing so fast in the rest of the world that we must be able to keep up and excel otherwise, our schools and our nation will be left behind.
“Senior High Schools in Ghana have over the years had to grapple with managing increasing student numbers with the same facilities and dwindling resources.
Prof. Abor stated this at the diamond jubilee commemoration of Tema Senior High School (TEMASCHO) on the theme: “TEMASCHO@60: Setting the pace for an enhanced educational experience in the 21st century”.
Prof. Abor, a financial economist challenged TEMASCHO students to strive for the best as the school’s motto goes “Nil nisi optima” only the best; “We have been and still are a pacesetters in education in Ghana. Striving for the best means giving off your best in all aspects”.
He said: “I wish to invite students to set the pace for an enhanced educational experience by making use of technology. Take your ICT lessons seriously as this will be required in your tertiary education and in the working world.
“I wish to call on students to begin to own their own learning. The future of education is self-directed learning. Overcome the challenges you face by mastering them. You are the master of your own fate and the captain of your soul”.
Prof Abor also a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (FCCA) (UK) encouraged the students to take part in the extra curricula activities that the school had in places such as debates, sports activities, the cadet, and clubs.
“Our students must also take advantage of the leadership roles on offer in the school since all of these provide the opportunity for you to form your character and grow as a leader as well as contribute to the school as you learn invaluable skills. The world of work requires people with a good blend of both the hard and soft skills,” he noted.
Prof Abor, Adjunct Professor of Development Finance, University of Stellenbosch Business School and a researcher with the African Economics Research Consortium also commended teachers and staff for the many sacrifices in providing good training for our students.
He said; “we cannot ever extend enough appreciation to you for all your hard work over the years”.
He however challenged teachers and staff to provide mentoring for students in a more structured way than had typically been done over the years.
“I call on the school administration to continue to work hard to provide a conducive environment for enhanced teaching and learning as well as proper character formation for all students,” he said.
Mr. Samuel Kwadwo Sarpong, Chief Executive Officer of C4BT Consulting Limited, an anchorite of the Tema Secondary School called on the 21st-century teachers to serve as guides and mentors for students and not as the all-knowing scholar providing them with all the information the students need.
Mr. Sarpong stated that 21st-century education was about giving students the skills they needed to succeed in the new world and and helping them grow in confidence to practise these skills.
He described the 221st-century students also as digital natives that are born within the computer era; therefore, education needs to be all about empowering students with transferable skills that would hold up to the rapidly changing world.
Mr. Sarpong stated that, although getting educational technology in learning was key for the 21st century, the inadequate technical support, maintenance, and sustained effort by all stakeholders make the education plan a burden.
He added that the teachers who were supposed to be digital immigrants were caught up in limited technology and many found it difficult to use technology to engage and support learning without effective training.
“The 21st-century-based technology education requires teachers to play more of a facilitator role rather than a directive role,” he stated.
Tema Senior High School was established and commissioned on September 22, 1961 by Ghana’s first President, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.
It was one of the schools the first President built in the 1960s under the Accelerated Development Plan aimed at expanding the educational programme.