Free Senior High School education policy: positives outweigh negatives — Joe Appeah   

By James Esuon, GNA 

Agona Nyakrom (C/R ), May 23, GNA – Mr Bernard Joe Appeah, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Pentax  Management Consultant Services Limited, said despite the challenges currently confronting the free Senior High School (SHS) Policy, the positives outweigh  the negatives. 

“Pragmatic reforms are needed to solve the challenges rather than outright scrapping of the policy”, he noted, adding that the goal was to bring SHS education to the doorsteps of  communities, particularly those in the rural areas. 

Mr Appeah was addressing  the 10th Speech and Prize Giving Day and 42nd Anniversary of Nyakrom Senior High Technical School at Agona Nyakrom in the Central Region. 

It was on the theme:  “Investing in schools, investing in the future, responsibility of all stakeholders.” 

He said the policy had recorded commendable increase in enrolment,  graduation and exam grades in immeasurable degrees, however, the challenges it faced were perceived to be eroding the gains. 

The challenges include provision of dormitories, classrooms, teacher bungalows, dining halls, well equipped libraries and laboratories, heath posts, and work overload on teachers due to the double stream system. 

He, therefore, charged the stakeholders in the sector to be proactive in ensuring that the policy became one of the best to benefit all Ghanaians. 

Mr Appeah urged the Board of Governors to ensure transparency in its operations to create an enabling environment for quality teaching and learning. 

He called on teachers to give of their best, ensure discipline among the students, and keep records of academic progress to facilitate growth. 

The students must also study hard to help achieve high academic laurels to enable them to become useful citizens. 

The CEO,  who was the Guest Speaker, purchased an Isograph machine, valued at GHC 25, 000 to replace the old one of the school, and  issued a cheque for GHC 15,000 to support the completion of an 18-classroom block PTA project.   

Mr Elias Arthur, the Headmaster, said students enrolment had increased from 2,674 in the 2022/ 2023 academic year to 2,781 in 2023/2024. Of the figure 1,763  are boarders while 1, 018 are day students. 

He said 62 per cent of the 1,114  candidates presented for the WASSCE in 2023 gained admission into tertiary institutions nationwide.  

He called on the Government, old students, Agonaman, corporate bodies, financial institutions and all Ghanaians to help provide teacher bungalows for the school. 

The Headmaster said more than 100 tutors of the school were living at Nyakrom Town while the rest commute from Agona Swedru, making it extremely difficult to monitor and instill discipline into the students, especially boarders. 

Dr Evans Aggrey Darko, the Head of Civil Service, said education was the cornerstone of progress, the key to unlocking the doors of opportunities adding that the students, with curiosity, enthusiasm and determination, would  chalk successes. 

He asked the teachers to improve upon their academic skills to help make positive impacts on the students to achieve high standards.