Politics of Monday, 5 November 2012
The District Chief Executive (DCE) for Gomoa West, Mr. Theophilus Aidoo-Mensah has stated that the government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) is not against making Senior High School (SHS) education free as is being propagated by certain political parties.
Speaking at the inauguration of two school blocks at Gomoa Asempanyin and Gomoa Oguan both in the Gomoa West District, Mr. Aidoo-Mensah said all what the government was saying was that access to educational facilities for use by the students and training of enough teachers to teach the students must be secured before the start of the free SHS policy.
He said currently the schools were bedeviled with many challenges such as inadequate classrooms resulting in overcrowding, in some cases as much as 90 students to a class, inadequate furniture with students sitting in threes instead of twos to a desk, and inadequate teachers.
The DCE said these challenges had hindered the attainment of quality education by the schools which at times resulted in some of the schools scoring zero per cent in the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).
He said starting free SHS policy by next academic year if given the nod in the upcoming elections would compound the problems in the educational system which the government was working hard to resolve.
Mr. Aidoo-Mensah recounted the problems created by the decision of the government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to increase the duration of SHS from three to four years for the students when no provision was made for classroom and dormitory accommodation for the students.
"For how long would our students be allowed to continue to attend classes under trees?" the DCE asked.
Mr. Aidoo-Mensah promised to put up teachers' quarters in the town as soon as the Assembly received its share of the District Development Fund.
Nana Kumasah Krampah I, Mankrado of Gomoa Asempanyin expressed gratitude to the government for the number of development projects the town had benefited from. He commended Mr Francis Kojo Arthur, Member of Parliament for the area for constructing a road linking the town with Gomoa Maim which had been abandoned for about 40 years.
Mr. James B. Pratt, Headmaster of the School appealed for teachers’ quarters to enable the teachers to stay in town to help to control the pupils after school hours.
At Gomoa Oguan, Nana Okusae Edu XVII, Chief of the town appealed to the Assembly to connect electricity to the school to facilitate the teaching and learning of ICT. The Headmistress, Miss Leticia Mensah appealed for teachers’ quarters, a library and computer centre.