Mrs Margaret Frempong -Kore,Accra Metro Director,Education presenting a prize to Binka Andy Mawutor,Overall Best Science Student ,WASSCE 2017. Photo: Seth Osabukle
Parents have been asked not to use the financial relief brought on them with the introduction of the Free Senior High School (SHS) to be complacent in securing a better future for their children.
The Minister of state in charge of Tertiary Education, Professor Kwesi Yankah who represented the President at the 87th Speech and Prize Giving Day of Accra Academy on Saturday, advised that resources saved from the free SHS be invested into special accounts to enable children attain higher levels of education.
"Let the relief brought onto parents and guardians by the new policy not lure parents into complacency to instantly celebrate the huge savings made to their pockets on new funeral cloths and flaunting them in public space.
"Let resources saved from the Free SHS remain in the child's account or saved for the child's future to adequately prepare them for their university education which can even be more expensive if it is a professional programme the child aims at. Squandering monies freed today simply means squandering the child's tomorrow," he cautioned.
The colourful event was on the theme, "The necessity of quality education in the 21st century - addressing the challenges."
Interspersed with cultural displays, poetry and music, the occasion brought together past and present "Bleobii" both home and abroad.
Prof. Yankah reiterated government's determination to sustain the Free SHS in spite of the teething problems encountered adding that efforts to subvert the policy would not be tolerated "and the whip would be cracked wherever these irregularities are met."
He made mention of instances where food items had been diverted, manipulation of enrolment figures, charging of "imaginative" fees by principals among others which he described as deliberate attempts to "produce headlines that suggests that Free SHS is a flop."
Touching on the current spate of indiscipline reported in some schools especially involving teachers, the Minister charged authorities to expose and mercilessly crack the whip on "such despicable role models" while enforcing the teachers' code of conduct.
He directed that school authorities hand over to the police all actions that bordered on criminality within the walls of the school as "the practice of merely transferring rapists to other schools is in itself an administrative malpractice that must be censured."
Prof. Yankah entreated students to take advantage of the current dispensation to study diligently, "drop laziness and social vices from your vocabulary and avoid dangerous short-cuts to success."
A Professor of Economics and Head of Economics Department of the University of Ghana, Professor Peter Quartey who delivered the keynote address, called for effective supervision and the strengthening of parent-teacher coordination to address some of the challenges that undermine quality education in the country.