Dr Samuel Tengey of the Centre for Capacity Development, Bank of Ghana, has advocated for the transformation of prisons for young offenders into skills/rehabilitation centres.
He said in order to build an inclusive society; there is the need for government and other stakeholders to support the rehabilitation of young offenders in the nation’s prisons.
Dr Tengey made the suggestion in his presentation at the 71st Annual New Year School and Conference (ANYSC) Youth School on the theme “Attaining Ghana Beyond Aid (GhaBA): Prospects and Challenges”.
Speaking on the topic: “Ghana Beyond Aid: The Youth Perspective”, Dr Tengey said such skills/rehabilitation centres for young prison inmates should be fortified such that they could not escape.
He said at the centres the young prison inmates could learn trades; produce goods and services; make money for the State for their upkeep; leave prison with a skill/trade and a certificate.
He recommended that at such centres, there should be counsellors, psychologists and clergy to help in the transformation of the lives of the young offenders.
With regards to agriculture, Dr Tengey called for the restructuring of the “Planting for Foods and Jobs” to incorporate Mechanised State Farm Estates.
He suggested that Agriculture Colleges should be made to combine actual farming and studies – students produce, get paid and study.
Touching on information and communication technology (ICT), Dr Tengey said, youth in ICT software development programming could be trained in software apps development to solve real life problems.
“National prosperity occurs when the environment creates the condition for the optimisation of personal aspirations, efforts and initiatives. This is what, in my view, the GhaBA Charter attempts to achieve,” he said.
“By far the most comprehensive, integrated, audacious, defying, brave, ambitious and well-thought through national-level economic emancipation agenda that seeks to take the progress of our country into our own hands, and is boldly selective in the type of assistance we may need from external development partners.”
Dr Tengey cautioned that even when the right environment had been created, the youth could still fail miserably without feeling personally responsible.
“When the vision of GhaBA is completely realized there will have never been a better opportunity for the youth to take a full advantage of all that the system provides to maximize their fortunes,” he said.
The 71st ANYSC was organised by the School of Continuing and Distance Education, University of Ghana.
The ANYSC, which was introduced in 1948, brings together people from all walks of life to deliberate on topical issues of national and international interest.
The Youth School was attended by 260 students from the Presbyterian Boys Senior High School (SHS) Legon, Aburi Girls, Achimota School, West African SHS, Methodist Girls SHS Mamfe, Accra High School and Frafraha SHS.
The rest are the University of Ghana, Islamic University, Sunyani Technical University, University of Professional Studies, Accra and Korle-Bu Nursing Training College.