Daily Graphic Editorials
Second cycle schools enrolment and matters arising
On February 27, 2023, all senior high schools (SHSs), technical and vocational institutes (TVIs) opened their gates to first-year students to begin their three-year secondary education journey.
The over 500,000 candidates started moving into various schools of their choice to settle down for academic work.
The day came as a relief to parents and guardians who had been waiting for almost a month since the release of the results by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) for the enrolment of their wards into senior high school.
Anxious parents have since been moving to the various schools and institutes to ensure that their children are properly placed.
The Daily Graphic is happy that as of February 26, 2023, a report from the Ministry of Education put the number of candidates enrolled at 492,437 out of the 538,399 representing 91 per cent.
It is our expectation that by now, the rest of the nine per cent have enrolled so that they do not unnecessarily miss out on academic work.
This is particularly important because, every minute counts in the academic work and the longer the child stays at home, the more the contact hours that are lost.
The Ghana Education Service estimates that every student is expected to complete 1,134 contact hours per academic year, culminating in a total of 3,402 contact hours for the three-year stay in school.
It is in the light of this that the Daily Graphic believes that the continuous stay at home by the remaining candidates, who are yet to be enrolled, will be counter-productive and ultimately affect the academic outcomes of those students.
We advise the students to take their studies seriously as they settle down for academic work and not to follow others blindly.
It is important that every student must know why he or she is in school and not look at what others have or are doing and do likewise.
All of them must know that their academic journey has just begun and how they make use of the time available to them, will determine their level of success tomorrow.
They should not allow peer pressure to influence their decisions.
They must focus on their studies while in school.
However, one major concern which the schools need to be flexible with is the list of items in the prospectus.
Some of the schools are said to be asking for items that compelled the GES to issue a caution note that schools caught in the act of billing parents unnecessary items would be dealt with.
Some of the schools are said to be selling the items on the prospectus to parents in the schools, a development management of education in the country frowns upon.
We believe that there is wisdom in the composition of the items in the prospectus, but it should be possible for the schools to be flexible and allow in students whose parents are unable to acquire all the items and give them time to settle that.
In the prospectus, there are some items that are basic and must be provided and those are the ones that the heads must insist on but not the other peripheral items of which the heads themselves know.
Those peripheral ones can be collected while the students are in school and not a must that the list should be conclusive before the student is allowed in school.
Some of these and school fees are among the things that informed the rollout of the free SHS policy and nothing, not even the prospectus, should prevent qualified students from acquiring secondary education.
As President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo stated during the launch of the free SHS policy, we, as a nation, have a sacred duty to our children and the generations beyond in ensuring that, irrespective of their circumstances, their right to an education is preserved.
The heads of second cycle schools should enrol the students and take up issues with their parents.
After all, the sins of the parents should not affect the academic progress under this era of free SHS.
As the students report to school, the countdown to the 1,134 hours begins and there is no time to waste.
Time and tide, we all know, wait for no man.