The government has secured US$40 million under the Secondary Education Improvement Project to expand and upgrade facilities in 75 selected senior high schools (SHS), President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has announced.
The funding for the project, he indicated, was coming from the World Bank.
President Nana Akufo-Addo, who was addressing the 68th speech and prize-giving day of the Prempeh College in Kumasi, said an additional 42 SHS would be transformed into model status.
He added that construction works on existing Community Day Schools would also continue.
Former President John Agyekum Kufuor, the Education Minister, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, a former Chief of Staff, Mr. Kwadwo Mpiani, and former Finance Minister, Dr. Kwabena Duffour, were among the tall list of high profile personalities present.
“Educating the boy child; the role of stakeholders in contemporary times” was the theme chosen for event.
President Nana Akufo-Addo discounted claims by sceptics that the fee-free SHS policy was not sustainable and declared that it had indeed “come to stay”.
He acknowledged that there were challenges but said the government was determined to go the extra mile to fix them.
He gave the assurance that 69,500 mono desks would soon be supplied to schools that had been struggling with inadequate furniture.
President Nana Akufo-Addo said this would come together with 13,100 bunked beds, furniture for dining halls, teachers’ common room, computer laboratories and the distribution of marker boards.
He spoke of deliberate steps, taken to whip up the interest of school children in the pursuit of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.
The target is to equip 38,715 basic schools with STEM equipment and train in excess of 38,000 basic school teachers to aid effective teaching of these subjects.
President Nana Akufo-Addo said the initiative was intended to strengthen the foundational skills and generate interest in STEM.
He used the occasion to draw attention to the need to ensure proper supervision in schools – check absenteeism and other acts of indiscipline to enhance classroom performance.
Mr. Samuel Fordjour, the Headmaster, applauded the government for the bold decision to implement the free SHS policy and pledged that they would give it their all to achieve the intended outcome.
They would work hard and with passion to improve the quality of education – academic performance of students.
An ultra-modern Science Laboratory donated to the school by Tullow Oil was inaugurated by former President Kufour.
He said aggressive promotion of STEM was the way forward for the nation’s economic growth.