First Lady Mrs Ernestina Naadu Mills on Friday observed that the provision of quality education to the youth would facilitate the Better Ghana agenda of the government.

She therefore urged the youth to take advantage of policies and programmes being initiated by the government to fully exploit their potentials and talents.

“Ghana would not have a better future if she failed to provide adequately for the education and development of the youth, “she added.

Mrs Naadu Mills made the observation at this year’s President’s Independence Day Awards for 23 pupils selected throughout the country.

The theme for this year’s independence celebration is: “Investing in the Youth for a Better Ghana.”

The recipients were made up of a boy and a girl from each region and three Senior High School graduates, who excelled in last year’s May/ June West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination.

Selection for the awards, introduced by government in 1993, is based on the recognition of high academic performance, participation in various aspects of school and community activities and exemplary conduct.

The prizes include a four-year scholarship including boarding and lodging, GH¢400 book prize and a certificate.

In addition, the management of Nestle Ghana Limited, this year is providing each award winner GH¢500, a hamper and teachers, branded educational materials, shields and medals as well as their accommodation and feeding during their stay in Accra.

Mrs Naadu Mills urged the recipients to exhibit high levels of responsibility in all their endeavours and asked them not to concentrate only on their academic performance but strive to excel at home, church and sports as well.

“In all your endeavours, remember that honesty, integrity, humility and hard work will always open doors for you”.

“Your parents and teachers have contributed to make you what you are therefore; it is extremely important that you continue to appreciate their contribution to your success,” Mrs Naadu Mills said.

Mrs Naadu Mills asked the youth to recognise that development of their communities and the nation depended on them and gave the assurance that government would provide the needed support and encouragement for the future leaders for an even Better Ghana.

Mr Alex Tettey-Enyo, Minister of Education said government would ensure that it provided equitable, affordable and quality education for all Ghanaian children irrespective of their location in the country, adding “That is the only way to build a prosperous nation”.

He urged the recipients not to rest on their oars but endeavour to make Ghana proud in all their academic pursuit to bring more laurels to the country.

In a message the children expressed appreciation to President John Evans Atta Mills for the free textbook programme, increase in the Capitation Grant and infrastructure to eliminate the shift system and teaching and learning under trees.

Mr Sammer Chedid, Chief Executive Officer of Nestle Ghana Limited, said management invested more than GH¢60,000 in the awards and an increase in the sponsorship this year.

Souce: GNA