The 2022 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) results are Ghana’s best in the last eight years, the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has observed.
“Indeed, the free senior high school (SHS) era has seen systematic improvement over the pre-free SHS era,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo shared his observation at the 70th anniversary of the Opoku Ware SHS (OWASS) in Kumasi last Saturday, stressing that the 2022 WASSCE results of those students, which he preferred to call the ‘Akufo-Addo Graduates’, were splendid.
“I can state, without equivocation, that I am proud of the policy and of its results thus far,” he said.
Performance statistics for the core subjects over the three years of the free SHS, as released by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), show that in 2020, when the first batch of the free SHS beneficiaries wrote the WASSCE, 57.34 per cent passed in English, 65.71 per cent passed in Core Mathematics, while 52.53 and 64.31 per cent passed in Integrated Science and Social Studies, respectively.
In 2021, 54.08 passed in English, Core Mathematics recorded 54.11 per cent passes, with 65.70 per cent passing in Integrated Science and 66.03 per cent in Social Studies.
The President, happy with the data, further broke it down, saying: “This year, 61.39 per cent recorded A1 to C6 in Mathematics, compared to 33.12 per cent in 2016; 71.5 per cent recorded A1 to C6 in Social Studies, compared to 54.5 per cent in 2016; 62.45 per cent recorded A1-C6 in Integrated Science, compared to 48.35 per cent in 2016, while 60.39 per cent had A1 to C6 in English, compared to 51.6 per cent in 2016.”
The 70th anniversary, which was on the theme: “Seven decades of leadership through self-discipline”, attracted many dignitaries, including the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II; the Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum; the Juabenhene, Nana Otuo Siriboe II, who is an old boy of the school, as well as a host of the old boys, known as Akatakyie.
It was chaired by Justice Stephen Alan Brobbey, a former Justice of the Supreme Court and also alumnus of OWASS.
Guaranteeing the nation’s future
While admitting that there were still some bottlenecks associated with the implementation of the free SHS policy, President Akufo-Addo said six years on, the policy had guaranteed a minimum of SHS education for 1.3 million Ghanaian children — the highest such enrolment in Ghana’s history.
He noted that history and the experience of developed nations had shown that the most efficient way to create a society of opportunities and thereby guarantee the future of the nation was by investing in education and skills training of our youth.
“Without an educationed populace, we cannot transition from the status of a developing to a developed nation,” he emphasised.
The President emphasised that the country must have a belief that it could make its own unique contribution to the growth of wealth and be able to generate dignified standard of living for the masses of its people to build the Ghana Beyond Aid.
The Headmaster of OWASS, Rev. Fr Stephen Owusu Sekyere, commended the government for the numerous interventions ongoing in the school, including the asphalting of the road network on the compound.
He also lauded the Catholic Church and the government for their collaborative efforts that had brought the school thus far.
That notwithstanding, he said, some renovation works which were started on some dormitory blocks, as well as the school chapel, had stalled and called on the government and well-meaning people to go to the aid of the school to complete those projects.
He also appealed to the government to help complete the entire fencing of the school, saying the lack of fencing had become an escape route for students and also provided a way for intruders who had been associated with numerous theft cases recorded in the school.
In a congratulatory message, Otumfuo Osei Tutu commended OWASS for being one of the oldest SHSs in Asanteman and maintaining standards with its quality education and continuously churning out men of integrity who were occupying various leadership positions in the country and across the globe.
He said 70 years of existence was worthy of commemoration and wished OWASS many more years of continued educational excellence, in service to God and country.
The Asantehene commended the church for helping to establish schools not only to provide quality education for the region but also establish its credentials as a strong eductional hub.
Justice Brobbey, in his opening remarks, commended all stakeholders, as well as the present and past heads of the school and the alumni, for the roles they played and continued to play which had brought the school thus far.