Chief Executive Officer of Innova DBB, Joel Edmund Nettey has called on government to grant autonomy to well-endowed Senior High Schools (SHS) in the country.

This, he believes, will improve quality of education at the second cycle level.

“Let’s not play the ostrich with what is happening to our educational system. To put it simply, it is dying if not dead,” he bemoaned.

Joel Nettey was speaking as the guest of honour at the 87th anniversary Speech and Prize-giving Day of Achimota School in Accra on Saturday.

The ceremony held on the theme, “Educating the Child the 360 degree Way” was organized by the Board of Governors, management and members of the 1989 year group.

He maintained that granting autonomy to selected schools which have demonstrated the capacity to manage their own affairs, will help complement effort of the Ghana Education Service (GES) for quality education.

“360-degree education is not only critical but non-negotiable,” he stated.

The Innova DBB boss, among other things, suggested that the ‘autonomous’ schools be allowed to charge fees that will enable them to offer competitive remuneration to their staff and attract best teachers, provide adequate modern infrastructure to ensure the students get the best tuition.

“This will result in what I call the highest common denominator effect as opposed to the current system that feels like a concerted effort to drop the quality of education in some schools so as to create equity in sub-standard education across the country,” he noted.

Joel Nettey said education is everyone’s business and “I do hope this could form the beginning of a serious, non-lip service commitment to a nationwide dialogue and subsequent urgent action”.

“To President John Mahama, Minister of Education, Parliament and Ghanaians, let’s not be said that it was in our time as leaders of this country that our educational system collapsed,” he stressed.

Beatrice Adom, Headmistress of Achimota School remarked that the students recorded 100 percent pass in the 2013 West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination.

She was however unhappy with parents who forcibly want their wards to be admitted into the school in spite of government’s fatwa to heads of school not to do admissions.

Though Mrs. Adom thanked government, GES, the PTA and members of the Old Achimotan Association for their donations to the school, like Oliver Twist, she appealed for more infrastructure in light of the increasing student population, in order to enhance effective teaching and learning.

The ceremony was attended by about 3,000 people including old Achimotans, parents, teachers and students.

Prizes and certificates were awarded to Form 1-3 students who excelled in Physics, Biology, Mathematics, Food and Nutrition, Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, Sports, Christian Religious Studies and General Knowledge in Arts among other subjects.

The overall best student was awarded a certificate and a flat screen television; the most hard working non-teaching staff was given a certificate and a refrigerator. The most humble, honest, hardworking and helping students for the year was also awarded.