Unauthorised fees keep JHS products out of school

The charging of unauthorised fees by some second-cycle schools has denied about 40,000 junior high school (JHS) graduates who qualified for admission to senior high schools (SHSs) and vocational/technical schools in the 2012/2013 academic year access to secondary education.

According to the Minister of Education, Professor Naana Jane Opoku Agyeman, the graduates could not pay the high fees charged by some schools and could, therefore, not access secondary education.

She, therefore, challenged heads of all schools to implement measures to prevent the charging of unauthorised fees.

Prof. Opoku Agyeman made this known in a speech read on her behalf by the Ashanti Regional Director of Education, Mr Kofi Sarfo Kantanka, at the 60th Anniversary and Prize-giving Day of the Seventh-Day Adventist (SDA) Senior High School in Bekwai in the Ashanti Region last Sunday.

The anniversary was on the theme: “60 Years of Quality Adventist Education — Its impact on the Socio-Economic Development of Ghana”.

The school was established by the SDA Church as a first-cycle school in 1953. From the humble beginning of 20 students in 1953, the school has been transformed into a second-cycle school with a student population of 2,413, comprising 1,157 girls and 1,256 boys.

The minister said the recent move by the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service (GES) to ensure that all schools charged standard or uniform fees was to ensure that JHS graduates had more access to secondary education, irrespective of the financial status of their parents. No witch-hunting

She appealed to heads of SHSs not to see the recent exercise to streamline the school fees system as witch-hunting but a means of bringing balance or fairness into  fees payment in all schools in the country.

That, she said, was intended to prevent potential students  from being denied education because of their inability to pay fees and other commitments.

Prof Opoku Agyeman appealed to the school to lead the crusade for easy access to quality education.

The Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Eric Opoku, himself an old boy of the school, commended the SDA Church for its role in the provision of educational, health and other social development to complement government’s effort. Students advised to study hard

Mr Opoku challenged students of the school to study hard and be disciplined for them to contribute to the development of the country.

The Headmaster, Mr George Oduro Yeboah, said the school made giant strides in the 2013 West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).

The Akyempimhene of Kumasi, Nana Adusei Poku, who represented the Asantehene, was full of praise for the SDA Church for its role in the reformation and training of students.

He urged the students to take advantage of information and communications technology (ICT) to enhance their learning for them to become competitive on the job market.

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