President John Evans Atta Mills has challenged the youth to strive for excellence in order to attain success in their lives.

He said with the virtues of humility, discipline, purpose and hard work, the youth had a clear advantage to take charge as leaders “when we are no more”.

The President was addressing the 84th Founders’ Day celebration of Achimota School on the theme, “Empowering the youth for quality statesmanship”.

This year’s celebration was sponsored by the 1961 Year Group, of which the President is a member.

President Mills stressed the need for students to be imbued with the spirit of love and unity, saying, “Although we came from different parts of the country to Achimota, that did not reflect in our attitude towards one another.”

He said Achimota today was not how it was 50 years ago, underscoring the need for the beneficiaries to lift it to its former glory.

He praised the teachers of the school for their role, particularly in the character transformation of the students, adding, “your joy is as a result of the sacrifices made by your teachers”.

President Mills paid tribute to the founding fathers of the school for their mission and vision which had transformed the school to its present level.

He used the occasion to bemoan the rampant encroachment on the school’s land, which has resulted in the destruction of its central sewage system and exposed the students to health hazards.

The Headmistress of the school, Mrs Beatrice Adom, said the school lacked the ability to build a fence round the compound, resulting in encroachment and other security breaches.

She appealed to the government to take a second look at the modalities for school utility bills and suggested that the money allocated to schools should not only be based on student population but also the size of schools and the number of structures and the facilities present.

She appealed for support for a well-equipped Information and Communications Technology (ICT) centre, a modern library, an enlarged assembly and dining hall, as well as more dormitory blocks for boys and girls.

The President of the 19 91 Year Group, Mr Kobina Quansah, recalled some of the challenges that faced students of Achimota School in those days but said they were surmounted through hard work and determination.

Source: Daily Graphic/Ghana