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General News of Saturday, 28 February 2004

Source: GNA

Govt sensitive to plight of less endowed schools

Tamale, Feb. 28, GNA - The Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, has reiterated the government's commitment to the development of the less endowed school in the country.

He said everything was being done to ensure that both human and material resources required to ensure effective teaching and learning in such school were made available.

Mr Baah-Wiredu who said this in a speech read for him at the 40th anniversary celebration of the Tamale Business Secondary School in Tamale, announced that as part of this strategy, the government was embarking on a programme of creating a model school in each district that would be resourced to enhance effective teaching and learning. The government, he said, would also provide basic learning resources to all schools to be able to function properly. He said the Ministry had started providing textbooks on core subjects at the SSS level to all senior secondary schools.

Mr Baah-Wiredu, however, expressed regret that reports received from the Supply and Logistics Division of the Ghana Education Service (GES) indicated that some heads of schools had not collected their suppliers from the Regional Depots.

"Some Regional Directors have halted further deliveries because their depots are full", he said, and urged all heads of schools not to leave these supplies in the regional stores when students needed them. He advised the school authorities to provide accurate data on their students to the Ministry to enable the Supply and Logistics Division to supply the schools with the right quantities of materials.

Mr Baah-Wiredu commented on the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination results for the 2003 and said out of 476 public secondary schools that presented candidates for the SSSCE, only 114, representing 23 per cent passed in six to eight subjects.

He said the poor performance of students in the SSSCE in the three Northern Regions and other parts of the country should be blamed partly on the lack of infrastructure.

The Minister noted, however, that even though the Tamale Senior Secondary School, Navrongo Senior Secondary School and Wa Senior Secondary School, which were better endowed in terms of infrastructure, did not perform well.

Mr Baah-Wiredu advised students to realise that there could be no improvement in the country's standard of education if they engaged in criminal and counter-productive activities instead of concentrating on their studies.

He announced that the government had provided 150 million cedis for the completion of a six-unit block of classrooms this year, while efforts were being made to complete the dinning hall complex.

In a speech read for him, the Northern Regional Minister, Mr Ernest Debrah assured the school authorities that the Regional Coordinating Council would collaborate with the Ministries of Education, Youth and Sports and Works and Housing to solve some of the problems facing the schools especially in the area of potable water.

He commended the students for maintaining discipline and urged them to keep it up and avoid acts that would destroy the good image the school had carved for itself.

Mr Debrah appealed to traditional rulers in the region to instil discipline in the youth to promote peace in the communities.