The Free Senior High School (SHS) Programme has improved student enrollments at some deprived SHSs in the Tano North District of Brong-Ahafo Region.
School authorities at the Serwaa Kesse SHS, the Boakye Tromo SHS and Technical School (BOSTECH) and the Yamfo Anglican SHS in the District have therefore commended the government for the implementation of the programme, which they believed would also enhance infrastructure development.
The authorities gave the commendation when Mrs. Freda Prempeh, a Deputy Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing visited and interacted with the first year students of the Schools on Monday.
They commended the implementation of the free SHS programme, which according to them was a laudable intervention that could help bridge the inequality gab in the SHS education.
Mr. George Awuah, the out-going Headmaster of the BOSTECH said the School admitted 249 students last year but the figure jumped to 497 in this academic year which he added was encouraging.
He emphasised though that the implementation of the programme had faced few challenges, there was no justification for critics to condemn it outright.
Mr. Awuah who has been transferred to head the Acherensua SHS in the Asutifi South District expressed appreciation to the Deputy Minister for her immense support to the development of the School.
He was worried that out of the 74 teachers, only seven of them were resident on campus and appealed for additional teachers’ quarters.
Mr. Richard Akwasi Donkor, the Headmaster of the Yamfo Anglican SHS said the school admitted more than 600 fresh students in the 2017/2018 academic year.
He said because of the deplorable state of the school, its population was gradually declining but added the free SHS had boosted enrollment.
Mr. Donkor appealed to the government to assist the School in the area of infrastructure to admit more students.
At Serwaa Kesse SHS, the headmistress, Mrs. Doris Cobbinah said the School was able to admit more than 700 fresh students.
She said a lot ought to be done to improve the boarding facilities and classroom blocks.
Mrs. Prempeh told the students and staff that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was a visionary leader, noting that had it not been the free SHS a lot of students would have not been in school.
She emphasised that the government had put in place pragmatic measures to sustain the programme and entreated stakeholders in the education sector to embrace and support its implementation.
Mrs. Prempeh who is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Tano North advised the students to study hard so that the investment made on them would not be in vain.
She said the sustainability of the free SHS programme partly depended on the academic performance of the students, saying the programme would not cover repeated students.
Mrs. Prempeh pledged her commitment to improve on the School’s infrastructural facilities, adding that plans were advanced to support the teachers to acquire affordable housing.
She appealed to Ghanaians to disabuse their minds that the programme was not sustainable.