The government’s free senior high school (SHS) programme will not compromise the standards of education, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has given an assurance.
He said the government would not “turn the Free SHS into a process that simply churns out young people that would not be equipped to cope with the modern world”, stressing that “a high school educated child without any skills would be even more frustrated than a child that ended her education at the junior high school (JHS).”
He, therefore, gave an assurance that the government would “ensure that our high schools and their teachers are equipped to deal with the white heat of science and technology that rule today’s world.”
President Akufo-Addo, who was addressing the 33rd anniversary celebration and second Speech and Prize-Giving Day of the Mafi-Kumase Senior High Technical School (MAKSTEC) in the Central Tongu District in the Volta Region last Saturday, said it was regrettable that many schools lacked infrastructure for laboratory and workshops even after 60 years of independence.
He said in line with that, the provision of laboratories and workshops to facilitate practical training in science and technology in SHSs would be paramount in the education system.
That, he said, was essential to prepare students adequately to face the world after school and end the situation where students read courses without any practical component to apply their knowledge.
He said the free SHS could not be operated to produce graduates without any scientific and technological skills.
The President acknowledged that unemployment could also not be solved without laboratories and workshops for learning science, technology, and technical skills.
To commemorate his visit to the school, President Akufo-Addo announced that an equipped workshop would be constructed for the school to help to transform it to provide an avenue for tapping inherent talents in students.
He said the nation needed skilled citizens to accelerate the process of modernisation hence the need for students and teachers to be provided with the requisite facilities to be abreast of latest technology.
President Akufo-Addo acknowledged the catalogue of needs of the school, especially the payment of electricity bills and a school bus and gave an assurance that the Ministry of Education would deal with the problems.
In his report, the Headmaster of MAKSTEC, Mr Courage Meteku, said the school attained a boarding status last year since its establishment in 1983.
He, however, said it was only the headmaster who had a bungalow on campus and two housemistresses who were living in student’s cubicles.
That situation, he pointed out, was not conducive for supervising a large number of students in the boarding house.
Mr Meteku appealed to the government to construct staff flats to augment accommodation on campus for teachers.
The Chairman of the Board of Governors of the school, Mr Alex Gabby Hotorwordze, who is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Central Tongu, was optimistic that the school could achieve greater heights if it was upgraded to the level of other well-endowed schools.
The Mankrado of the Mafi Traditional Area, Togbe Brentua Asafo IV, appealed to the President to upgrade the dilapidated health centre in the town to a fully-fledged hospital.
He also called for the establishment of a police station and the rehabilitation of roads in the town and other link roads, to open the community up to facilitate inter-district trade.