President John Mahama has said the Government is in the process of expanding the progressive Free Secondary Education Programme to include boarding students before the end of the year.

He said the programme would begin with students from Senior High Schools in underprivileged districts, before eventually covering those in the cities.

President Mahama said this at the 70th Anniversary-Speech and Prize Giving Day of Holy Child School in Cape Coast, on the theme, “Seventy years of Excellence in Catholic Girl Child Education”.

He said a total of 2,300 SHS students received a scholarship of GH₵ 2,000 each in 2015 to enable them to pay their fees, levies, transportation and other relevant stationery and explained that it was to ensure that children from needy families had access to sound education.

He urged the Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) to support the Government’s efforts and ensure that parents paid fees approved by the Ghana Education Service in order to make education affordable for all.

The President said the Ministry of Education, in collaboration with the World Bank , was undertaking  a “Secondary Education Implementation  Programme”, aimed at  increasing  access in underserved districts and improving the quality of the output of non-performing SHS.

He said Science, Mathematics and Technology had become indispensable and urged parents to encourage their children to pursue courses in these and other disciplines that easily make them employable after school to facilitate economic growth and development.

“Instead of restricting them to subjects they are currently studying or compelling children to pursue same careers as their parents, they should be allowed some reasonable flexibility to make adjustments, which responds to the increasing competitive global and national world of work” he stated.

President Mahama applauded the Ghana National Teachers Association (GNAT) and the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) for ensuring healthy dialogue over the resolution of their remunerations and said they should be patient, while efforts were made to improve working conditions.

He assured teachers that the Government was working within the constraints of the budget to improve the rewards that teachers earned to increase their motivation “because there is no better teacher than a motivated teacher”.

He commended the Catholic Church for its involvement in especially the health and education sectors, to complement the efforts of Government.

The Headmistress of the School, The Reverend Sister Josephine A. Anto, expressed gratitude to the Government for some ongoing expansion projects and appealed to the Old Students, corporate institutions and other stakeholders to support them with a modern ICT centre.

She said the school also needed a language laboratory, school bus, staff bungalows and both new and additional access roads

She said the school presented 367 candidates for the 2015, West African Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), out of which two had eight As, eight had seven As, nine had Six As, and 12 had 5As.

She said the school recorded 100 per cent passes in all but four of the subjects; and expressed optimism that the 2016 batch had the capacity to perform better.

Staff and students who had distinguished themselves over the years were awarded, while the 1991 year group, which spearheaded the celebration, donated a 15-seater Toyota Hiace Mini bus to the school.

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