President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says infrastructure and other logistical challenges are not enough basis to condemn the free senior high school (SHS) policy.
He said the government was assiduously tackling the challenges, and encouraged teachers and students to give off their best to ensure that the policy succeeded.
President Akufo-Addo said this in a speech read on his behalf last Saturday by the Minister of Roads and Highways, Mr Kwesi Amoako Atta, at the Speech and Prize Giving Day to mark the golden jubilee celebration of the Asuom Senior High School in the Eastern Region.
The celebration was dubbed: “50 Years of secondary education at Ase: Achievements, challenges, the role of stakeholders and the way forward”.
The President emphasised that the government would not turn its back on the policy in spite of the challenges.
“We don’t have to wait to have everything before we start this policy. We shall face all the challenges head-on and put it on our shoulders to make sure the policy succeeds,” he said .
He said the free SHS policy was achieving great strides and the number of children had doubled in the SHSs, making it possible for all children to get education.
He urged the students to excel in next year’s West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) to justify the policy.
He paid glowing tribute to the late Nana Kwasi Ohenebeng, a native of Asuom who established the school in 1965.
“This legacy is what every body in the country should emulate,” he said.
The President pledged to donate a bus to the school to cater for transportation issues in the school, and also directed the Minister of Roads and Highways to rehabilitate the internal roads in the school.
The school has a population of 1,502, comprising 813 males and 689 females, 1,142 boarders and 359 day students.
The Headmaster of the school, Mr Francis Koomson-Barnes, said some of the challenges facing the school were lack of equipment for the science laboratory, a dining hall to cater for both staff and students, a spacious assembly hall that could accommodate more students, an infirmary to take care of both students and teachers health, furniture and an official vehicle for the headmaster.
The Chairman of the function, Dr Alfred Korlie Matey, Chief Executive officer of Freddies Corner, donated GH¢10,000 to the school, and urged the students to study hard to ensure that they went beyond acquiring mere certificates in the course of their education.