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Free SHS: Govt to provide more infrastructure - Rev. Fordjour

BY: Juliet Akyaa Safo
Rev. John Ntim Fordjour, Deputy Minister of Education, eating lunch with some students of St John's Grammar Senior High School. Picture: Maxwell Ocloo
Rev. John Ntim Fordjour, Deputy Minister of Education, eating lunch with some students of St John's Grammar Senior High School. Picture: Maxwell Ocloo

A deputy Minister of Education, Rev. John Ntim Fordjour, has expressed the government’s commitment to provide adequate infrastructure to accommodate all newly enrolled senior high school (SHS) students.

He explained that the government had initiated 1,132 infrastructure projects in second cycle institutions across the country between 2017 and 2022.

"Out of this number, some 734 has since been completed and handed over. The rest are at various stages of completion and we are poised to ensure their timely completion,” he said.

Visit

Rev. Fordjour made this known when he paid a visit to the St John's Grammar Senior High School to inspect a newly-built girls dormitory intended to house newly enrolled students.

The visit was also to assess measures put in place by the school management to ensure the smooth take-off of the academic year for new entrants.

“We paid a surprise visit to St John’s Grammar SHS to ascertain how enrolment of the fresh students are going and also inspect a new dormitory which is completed. We also went to their store room and dining hall to check if there was adequate food for the student,” Rev. Fordjour told journalists after the inspection.

After being satisfied with the quantity of food items in the school’s stores, Rev. Fordjour proceeded to dine with the students and was served Jollof rice and fish, by a Form One student table head, Patricia Quarshie.

He commended the school management for the good work done, while assuring them that the government was poised to address whatever challenges they may face in the enrolment process.

Free SHS

He said that at the end of the ongoing SHS enrolment, some 2.2 million students would have benefited from the government's free SHS and technical, vocational education and training (TVET) programme.

“The picture is not as bad as it is being portrayed; it is very positive. Where there is a challenge we will come in to help but in many of our schools, this is the picture we see with many enrolment going on with many first year students warmly received and taken care of by the school management,” he noted.

Rev. Fordjour thanked all stakeholders for making it possible for the smooth placement and enrolment process in most of the schools across the country.

“We are interested in ensuring that the successes that we have received and chalked up in the free SHS policy are sustained and consolidated; that is why we have seen to the timely completion of infrastructural projects,” he said.

Enrolment

The Headmaster of St John's Grammar SHS, Dr Edmund Fianu, informed the Deputy Minister that as at the time of his visit the school had enrolled a total of 1,158 new students and was expecting more students to report in the coming days.

He said the school had adequate food in stock to cater for all the students for the entire semester.

Dr Fianu, however, noted that the school needed a minimum of 150 beds to accommodate students in the new girls' dormitory to which Rev. Fordjour gave the assurance to provide the needed logistics and resources, including beds for the new dormitory to enhance teaching and learning.