The Headmaster of the St Mary’s Boys Senior High School, Rev. Fr Adu Yaw Ansah, has called on education stakeholders to discuss the challenges and opportunities brought to the fore by the coronavirus (COVID-19).
He said the new normal and its challenges provided some useful lessons that required interactions with government, old students association, school boards, staff members, students, and parents among others to help shape the future of education.
Rev. Fr Ansah was speaking at the launch of the 75th anniversary of the school on the theme: “75 years of quality education: the way forward in the era of COVID-19 and digitisation.”
As part of the celebration which is slated for October this year, the old students will see to the rehabilitation of the Biology and Physics laboratories, library project, an ICT centre among others for the school.
The headmaster said as academic activities resumed after the threat of COVID-19, redirecting and altering the education calendar in the country, in the celebration of achievements, “we must not lose sight of the current opportunities that present themselves to education and development in general”.
Rev. Fr Ansah said the pandemic at its peak was a major challenge confronting education, social and economic activities globally.
“This is a reality that we cannot gloss over. The same pandemic also brought us the digitisation drive which needs to be tapped,” he added.
At present, digitisation is sweeping the post-modern world of education and other sectors, which must not be skipped but requires stakeholder thorough examination.
“As we celebrate our anniversary and the provision of quality education, we are contemplating ways to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on education and take full advantage of digitisation to better education and development of the country,” he said.
Challenges & opportunities
For the country to take advantage of the challenges and the opportunities, Rev. Fr Ansah said it would depend on the players in the sector, saying, “We want to make it better and better than the accomplishments we attained in the past 75 years.”
The Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, expressed the government's continuous commitment to the education sector through various interventions that were making education accessible for all.
The introduction of the Free SHS policy by the government, he said, made a great impact in the Western Region, because “we have seen a significant increase in enrolment, moving it from 13,000 to 27,000 students with great results”.
The dynamics of modern-day education, the minister said, required skills development to ensure that students were equipped with entrepreneurial skills to help them put their knowledge to use.
The President of the St Mary’s Old Boys Association (SMOBA), Kingsley Kojo Inkoom, expressed the commitment of the old students to the development of the school.
He said the support of old students associations in contemporary education could not be overlooked, adding that the old students had committed themselves to supporting the cause of government and other stakeholders.