Mr. Richard Kofi Asiedu, the Chief Executive Officer of St. Andrews Senior High School (SHS), has disclosed that the introduction of the Free SHS policy has caused more harm than good to private SHS in the country.
“Most private SHS exist in name but not in numbers,” he said, adding that the average Private Senior High School today could boast of a population between 50-200 students.
This, he noted, was seriously affecting the sector, which employs about 10,000 of the total workforce of the country.
Mr. Asiedu made the remarks at the celebration of the School’s Speech and Prize Giving Day, on the theme,”15 Years of Perseverance In Academic Excellence, Achievements, Challenges And Prospects”.
He stressed that, 15 years in the life of the school had not been an easy journey considering the challenges of political decisions coupled with economic challenges affecting it.
The CEO expressed concerned that education had become a political tool for winning elections in the country and this was posing a greater challenge to proprietors of private Senior High Schools.
Often times, he noted, private school owners were not consulted or involved in sensitive decisions concerning them.
Mr Asiedu said private schools were ready to partner government to achieve its policies, but there must be proper collaborations and consultations.
He called on the government to fashion out policies that will give Private schools more students to aid the abolition of the double track system, adding that, some of the schools could take as much as 1000 students to help absorb the excess students for the double track program.
Mr. Asiedu said St Andrews had put prudent measures in place with about 3,152 students in all its six branches.
The Ultimate Remedial School has 790 Students and the Rich Multimedia Institute has 70 students.
Giving a history about the school, he said the school was established 15 years ago in a dilapidated wooden structure at Assin Fosu with 25 students and four tutors.
The school, he indicated, now has superior facilities as found in most endowed public senior high schools.
The Assin Fosu Campus alone has 54 classrooms in a four storey building, a 1000 seater capacity dining hall, a 1000 seater capacity Assembly hall, six boarding facilities, four big halls that could accommodate 5000 students at a go for examination purposes.
He said the West African International Magazine recently adjudged St Andrews SHS among the top 10 private Senior High Schools in West Africa, positively raising the image of Assinman in the Central Region and Ghana as a whole.
The Anniversary was graced by Daasebre Kwebu Ewusi VII, the Paramount chief of Abeadze Traditional Area and vice president of the National House of Chiefs, and Mr John Dramani Mahama, former President among others.