The implementation of the Free Senior High School (SHS) Education policy will start at the beginning of the 2017/2018 academic year in September, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana, has assured.
The President, who was the Guest of Honour at the 90th Anniversary celebrations of the Krobo Girls' SHS, reiterated Government's commitment to funding the cost of education at the SHS level and ensuring that the free SHS policy became a reality. .
The President said the free aspect of the policy, in addition to the already free tuition, would cover Admission fees, Library fees, Science Centre fees, Computer Lab fees, Examination fees, Textbooks, Boarding/Day fees and Utility fees. Furthermore, he said, day students would also get a free meal everyday in school.
The President made known Government's intentions to resource the teaching profession and restore it to a good status by making it an attractive career job for all.
He disclosed that Government, with the help of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) and other key stakeholders would facilitate a nationwide teacher training and an affordable housing scheme to ensure that teachers were able to acquire their own houses.
President Akufo-Addo said Government would also support teachers in basic education programmes to boost their teaching capacity.
He tasked the Minister of Education to ensure that an 18 unit classroom block was constructed, as requested, to accommodate more students and urged parents to get involved in their children's education.
In her remarks, Mad. Otiko Afisa Djaba, Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, and a co-Chairperson for the occasion, urged the chiefs of Manya Krobo to avoid negative traditional practices that infringed on the rights of the girl-child and cautioned male teachers against sexual relations with school children.
Mad. Djaba disclosed that government would initiate a 'girls - girls' group in the communities and schools where young girls would be sensitized on their basic rights and their fundamental roles in society.
She advised students to be bold, respectful and decent, and urged the girls to eschew bad habits such as indecent dressing that would only attract unscrupulous men who would take advantage of them.
The Headmistress of Krobo Girls' SHS, Madam Cecilia Obenewa Appiah, expressed appreciation to government for its immense contribution towards the development of the school.
Madam Appiah disclosed the school lacked adequate accommodation for teachers ad pleaded with all stakeholders to help the school complete their sports field, construct a spacious and convenient sick bay, construct a CHPS Compound for their use, a spacious dormitory for students to avoid overcrowding of students, among others.
The headmistress said the school needed an 18 unit classroom block to accommodate the students and a school bus to help transport students during academic trips.
The 90th Anniversary of the Krobo Girls' SHS, was celebrated on the theme: 'Achieving Excellence in Girls' Education: The role of Stakeholders'.
Notable among the dignitaries present were the Attorney-General, Madam Gloria Akuffo, Eastern Regional Minister, Hon. Eric Kwakye Darfour, Eastern Regional Director of Education, Ms Gertrude Mensah, and the Municipal Director of Education, Madam Rose Yaa Akanyi.
The others were the Vice Chancellor of the University of Development Studies, Prof. Gabriel AyumTeye, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Rt. Rev. Prof. Cephas Narh Omenyo, President of Krobo Girl's Association, Mrs. Comfort Acheampong-Adu, old girls from the school and members of the Board of Governors, among others.
Krobo Girls' SHS, with a population of 2,231 students, almost all of whom are boarders, has 34 classrooms.
The school has 175 teachers made up of 84 permanent teachers, 5 National Service Personnel and 86 non-teaching staff.
Presently, according to the headmistress, the school lacked teachers in English Language and Literature in English.
Source: ISD (Felicia Yemoley Buabeng)