Government must engage stakeholders on double track, free SHS

Laudia Sawer, GNA

Tema, Sept. 24, GNA- Our Lady of Mercy (OLAM)
Senior High School (SHS) on Monday, launched its 20th anniversary celebration
with a call on government to engage stakeholders on the free SHS education
policy and the double track system.

Very Reverend Father Wisdom Larweh, Assistant
Secretary General of the National Catholic Secretariat, speaking at the
launching, said proper stakeholders’ engagement must be done to ensure the
success of the policy.

Very Rev. Fr. Larweh said it was unfortunate
that whenever Ghanaians ask questions as citizens, politicians refuse to listen
to them noting that “when we become citizens and ask questions, they ask us to
keep our mouths shut as they implement the policies they did not discuss with

He added that no successive government should
think they were doing Ghanaians a favour as it was their responsibility to
provide education to the citizenry adding that “even if education is free, it
is the tax payer’s money that is funding it”.

He bemoaned the falling standards in the
country’s education saying there were inadequate infrastructure, inadequate
teaching and learning materials, less supervision from public institutions
making students and teachers restless.

“We now have free education with severe challenges
of overcrowding, silence of head teachers, confusion among parents on what is
going on, late arrival of government subventions, among others”.

Very Rev. Fr. Larweh indicated that Ghana’s
education system over the past 20 years had seen instability as successive
governments kept changing policies affecting the sector with either four years
or three years SHS and the current free and double-track system.

He also stated that Ghanaian education was
detached from the culture of the people as its curricula concentrated on
Western theories, European values, and ancient teaching methods.

He therefore called on catholic schools in the
country to continue to make Jesus the foundation of their institutions but
ensure that “our culture develops”.

Mrs Janet Bour-Donkor, Headmistress of OLAM
SHS, said the OLAM school’s project was initiated in 1999 when the OLAM
Catholic Church in Tema Community One had the desire to contribute to education
in the Tema Metropolis.

Mrs Bour-Donkor added that OLAM SHS which became
a government assisted secondary school from January 1, 2001, currently boast of
a population of 831 comprising of 454 and 387 for forms two and three
respectively, with the form one admission still ongoing.

According to her, OLAM SHS had a lot of challenges
including infrastructure deficit, inadequate furniture, teachers’
accommodation, lack of computers, uncompleted washroom project and no sick bay.

Other speakers including Mrs Margaret
Nsiah-Asamoah, Tema Metropolitan Education Director, Mr Daniel Titus-Glover,
Member of Parliament for the Tema East Constituency and Deputy Minister for
Transport, all commended the school and encouraged students to learn hard for a
secured future.

The occasion was used to unveil the
anniversary logo for the celebration which would be climaxed in March, 2019 on
the theme: “20 years of holistic catholic education, overcoming challenges,
building resilience and sustaining excellence”.


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