The Headmistress of Wesley Girls’ Senior High School, Mrs Betty Djokoto, has urged heads of educational institutions to take up the issue of gardens and flowers seriously.
“The culture of integrating gardens in schools cannot be under estimated. It provides healthy outdoor activity for students and brings balance to the intensed academic activities that take place in the confines of a classroom,”
Mrs Djokoto stated in her closing remarks at the end of the 2017 edition of the Ghana Garden and Flower Show, organised by Stratcomm Africa at the Efua Sutherland Children’s Park in Accra.
“The physical activity of working in the school garden and farms is very beneficial to the students,” Mrs Djokoto added.
Stratcomm Africa is a communications and reputation management agency dedicated to using communication strategies as a means of enhancing performance.
By organising the Ghana Garden and Flower Show, promoting a Garden and Flower Movement in Ghana, Stratcomm Africa is using its expertise to generate awareness among Ghanaians about availability of natural resources for livelihood enhancement and national development.
Over 100 exhibitors participated in the fifth edition of the Ghana Garden and Flower Show, which was under auspices of corporate entities such as the New Times Corporation, Opportunity International Savings and Loans Limited, The Finder, B&FT, Lux, Guinness Ghana, Appolonia City and Ecobank.
Mrs Djokoto said the practical lessons learnt on school farms prepared students for many diverse tasks in life, and also contributed to the development of a well-balanced individual, including guiding, nourishing and educating the human being.
“This activity encourages students to be concerned about the environment while reaping the practical benefits of healthy food,” she said.
She noted that apart from the beauty the landscaping added to schools, the health benefits of plants were numerous; citing the purification of the air, hence, preventing students from contracting air-borne diseases.
“At Wesley Girls’ High School, we have a culture of tending lawns to keep them green on houses basis. In our small way, we try to keep the environment beautiful with flowers and plants,” she noted.
“This contributes to the standards of excellence we strive to maintain. We believe in providing a beautiful and healthy environment for our students,” Mrs Djokoto stated.
She explained that this would positively affect their patterns since unsafe, disorganised or drab surroundings disturbed the mental faculties of students and prevent them from achieving their fullest potential.
Mrs Djokoto lauded Stratcomm Africa for successfully organising the Ghana Garden and Flower Show over the past five years.
Ms Esther Cobbah, the Chief Executive Officer, Stratcomm Africa, expressed gratitude to partners, exhibitors and sponsors for their diverse contributions in making the fifth edition of the show a success.
She said the Show would soon be extended to other parts of the country and even to other countries.
Mr Ron Strikker, The Royal Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, stated that MDK in Tema was growing and exporting flowers, which was a living testimony that Ghana was capable of becoming a flower producing and exporting country.
Mr Laurentius Aloysius Maria Koop, a Horticulture and Floriculture Expert from The Royal Netherlands, said The Netherlands remained the largest player in floriculture worldwide; as in 2013, it earned a total of $ 20 billion in flowers, plants and propagation materials.
He said the flower industry was very lucrative; noting that if countries like Kenya and Ethiopia were doing well in it, Ghana could equally do same.
Individuals and organisations who have supported the fair were recognised with Andrew Wilson, Peduase Valley Resource, Movenpick Ambassador Hotel, and Leister Hospital receiving certificates of recognition.
The Best Hotel Garden Award went to the Labadi Beach Hotel.