A Deputy Minister for Education in charge of Tertiary Education, Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has underscored the relevance of the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) in national development efforts.

Hon. Okudzeto Ablakwa lauded NUGS for its positive contributions to education in Ghana, citing the introduction of the National Service Scheme (NSS) and the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) as key achievements, among others, which NUGS could boast of.

The Deputy Minister, who was delivering the key note address at the launch the Golden Jubilee anniversary celebrations of the Union in Accra on Tuesday, described NUGS as an organization with great reputation, but was  quick to add that the Union had lost its voice recently as it  was no longer heard on issues of national importance.

He wondered why the polytechnics and private university students had chosen to form their own individual associations instead of remaining under the umbrella of NUGS.

Hon. Okudzeto Ablakwa, therefore, charged NUGS to use the occasion of the 50th  anniversary  celebrations to identify its cause that would make it more relevant in national affairs, adding that leaders of the Union should be allowed to emerge, based upon their acceptance by the student body and not by the endorsement of political parties.

He also charged the Union to give back to society what society had given it while calling on both the Alumni and current leaders to work together to rejuvenate and strengthen the Union.

In an address, the President of NUGS, Michael Paa-Quecy Adu, pledged the commitment of the Union to democracy and the rule of law, and to working hard to make NUGS remain a non-partisan organization.

Mr Adu stressed the need for free, fair and violence-free elections and called on politicians not to make election promises that were not deliverable. He also urged them to place the national interest above their personal interests and cautioned them against using students to promote violence.

In her remarks, Mrs Joyce Bawah Mogtari, Deputy Minister for Transport, challenged NUGS to play a critical role in ensuring peaceful elections in November, this year.

Present at the launch were Mr Ward Brew, a legal practitioner and past president of NUGS, the Ambassadors of Cuba, Algeria and Palestine, and representatives of political parties.

Among the activities lined up for the celebrations are a blood donation exercise, quiz competition, forum with political parties, a national day of prayer and an awards night.

Source: ISD (G.D. Zaney)