The government has directed the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) to undertake massive educational infrastructure projects in all public Senior High Schools (SHSs) implementing the Free SHS Programme nationwide.
Madam Gifty Twum-Ampofo, the Deputy Minister of Education in-charge of Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) who announced this over the weekend said priority would be placed on SHSs implementing the double-track system.
She was speaking at the inauguration of a 12-unit classroom block constructed for the Yamfo Anglican Senior High School in the Ahafo Region.
The block furnished with 600 students desks, was constructed by the GETFund to enable the school to admit more students in the next academic year.
Mrs. Freda Prempeh, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Tano North constituency lobbied for the project when she visited the school last year.
Mad. Twum-Ampofo said the Free SHS was progressing in all the implementing public schools, and that, with the GETFund infrastructural projects, challenges of inadequate classroom blocks and dormitories would soon be addressed.
She noted that human resource development remained the most valuable asset for the nation and the government would leave no stone unturned to make formal and quality education easily accessible to all.
Mad. Twum-Ampofo stated with the implementation of the Free SHS, no child must be left behind in accessing quality education, irrespective of his or her background or location.
She admitted teachers’ workload had increased due to the implementation of the Free SHS, and entreated them (teachers) to redouble their efforts while the Ministry of Education worked out modalities to improve on their condition of service correspondingly.
She indicated the MPs’ Common Fund was woefully inadequate in addressing the developmental needs of a constituency, hence, the need for the electorate in the area to maintain Mrs. Prempeh in the Election 2020, to enable her to use her excellent lobbying skills to acquire more support to take the development of the area to the next level.
Mrs. Prempeh, also the Deputy Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection said she had sought for support and very soon, construction work on a girls dormitory project for the school would commence.
She said all public basic and second cycle institutions in the area has somehow benefitted from educational projects ranging from classroom blocks, teachers quarters, sanitary facilities, dining halls, kitchen and teaching and learning materials.
Mrs. Prempeh advised the students to avoid engaging in immoral practices and concentrate seriously on their studies to be able to progress academically to eventually become competent professionals to contribute meaningfully to national development in various capacities.
She said with the Free SHS Programme, government had placed enormous responsibility on teachers to nature the students well by ensuring their proper upbringing and development as well as facilitating their academic progress and success.
The Reverend Canon Barnabas Kofi Oko, the Headmaster of the School, commended the government and the MP for the block.
He said the Free SHS had not only increased enrolment and provided an opportunity for all social class of people to easily access secondary education, but had also relieved parents of huge economic burden.
Rev. Oko said students’ population had increased from 273 to 671, and 418 final year students were preparing to write their exams under the first batch placement of the programme.
He emphasised the Free SHS was a laudable programme and must not be politicized, and appealed to government to cater for teachers’ welfare too.
Rev. Oko further pleaded with government to provide the school with a 50 seater bus and also address the challenge of lack ok teachers accommodation facing the school.