The Vice-President, Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has lauded the founding fathers of Mfantsipim Senior High School (SHS) in Cape Coast for their shining example, saying they have lighted the path; an indication of how humanity can outwit challenges.
Addressing the 141st anniversary and Prize-giving Day of the school last Saturday, the Vice-President said: “The school is not only one of the best in Ghana but one of the best in the world.”
He observed that the country’s prospects relied on investment in knowledge economy, stressing that for the country’s future to be properly secure, there was the urgent need for a deliberate paradigm shift in the policy of the government in all sectors of the economy.
The celebration was on the theme: “Delivering Quality Secondary Education in Ghana: A Paradigm Shift Needed.”
The Vice-President said the world was currently being driven by knowledge, stressing: “It is not about oil, gold, diamond or cocoa; it is all about knowledge.”
He cited the Apple company which is rich and worth $460 billion and the Bill Gates network which is worth almost $89 billion, while Ghana’s gross domestic product (GDP) was hovering around $45 billion, saying: “This is where the world is moving to develop a knowledge economy.”
Dr Bawumia said the government was making efforts to change the paradigm of how the country was ruled, saying: “We are trying to be inclusive and modernise the economy, which we believe is right for the country.”
He said it was in that regard that the government had introduced a lot of initiatives, particularly the Free SHS policy which would provide a platform for equal opportunity.
According to the Vice-President, the intake of first-year students following the introduction of the new policy had increased by 90,000. He gave an assurance that all the teething problems bedeviling the schools with the implementation of the policy would be resolved.
In his speech, the Global Director for Commercial Business Development with Turtle Management, Mr Robert Fakor Dovlo, urged the students not to take the Free SHS policy for granted, adding: “There is nothing free.”
The Headmaster of the school, Mr Manfred Barton Odro, said the dining hall expansion which was started in 2008 under the Ghana Education Trust
Fund (GETFund) was yet to be completed, a situation which he said had compelled students to go for their meals in batches and that had affected academic work.
He said the new dormitory block which was started in 2015 under the GETFund had been abandoned and, therefore, created congestions in the existing dormitories.
In a related development, the various year groups of the Mfantsipim Old Boys Association (MOBA) inaugurated a number of projects undertaken by the association to mark the anniversary in support of the government’s efforts to develop the school, reports Deborah Oluwamuyiwa, Cape Coast.
The 1973 year group donated a 20-seater biogas toilet facility to the school, while the 1989 year group donated two tricycles to aid in sanitation and a two-storey infirmary, while the 1967,77,87,97 and 2007 year groups worked to support the completion of the school’s multi-purpose building.
The Chief Executive Officer of The Consortium Consulting Architects Town Planners and Engineers and Chairman of the Mfantsipim Old Boys Association (MOBA) Projects, Mr Frank Tackie, expressed the commitment of the old boys to step up their investments in their school and supplement the government’s effort to implement the Free SHS policy.