The National President of the Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS) has asked the government, to as a matter of urgency, release subsidies which has been in arrears for three terms to the school.
Cecilia Kwakye Cofie said the schools risked being closed down prematurely if the absorbed fees by the government had not reached the schools “immediately”.
Speaking at the 68th Speech and Prize-Giving Day of Winneba Secondary School in Winneba on Saturday, she said “the major challenges confronting the Senior High School (SHS) is the arrears and subsidies, release of payment of scholarship to SHS and the renege on the part of the government to supply food to the schools. It was on the theme: “Quality Education: The Socio-Economic Need of Ghana”
A school gate, sponsored by the 1995 “6th form” year group was also inaugurated during the ceremony.
Submission of enrolment
Mrs Cofie said although the heads of school have submitted the enrolment figures and also engaged the government on several occasions, nothing was forthcoming, saying “It is a fact that heads of schools are under serious pressure but are afraid to voice of out, for fear of intimidation and sanction.”
The CHASS President also called on the government to revert procurement of items to the traditional suppliers since, to her estimation, the new contractors “may be, don’t have the capacity to supply food item to the schools.”
Mrs Cofie said since the Buffer Stock Company took charge of the supplier of food items, recently on the directive of the government, no supply had been made to the schools, a situation, she contended, was having a debilitating effect on the academic work of the schools.
She said the heads were currently falling on the fees of the continuing students to feed the free SHS students, but which were also not forth-coming stressing “you can’t take the feeding of our children for granted.
According to the CHASS President, who was a headmistress, the heads of all institutions had embraced the free SHS policy, wholeheartedly, since it was meant to relieve them of the challenges of demanding fees from students, most of whom could not afford to pay.
Payment of school fees
She said the free SHS policy was also affecting the payment of fees by continuing students drastically as most of them had refused to pay their fees, since according to them,” We are also Ghanaians who must enjoy in the free policy.”
“The challenge is also that the Ghana Education Service (GES) policy also forbids the sacking of students from school for non-payment of school fees.
On discipline in the school, the CHASS President said discipline of the school had paid off in academic work of the students, with the school being rated at the third best in Category “A” schools in the country.
“The nucleus of successes are results of favour of God and values placed on students and teachers as well as the non-academic staff,” she said.
On her part, the headmistress of the school, Mrs Anastasa Thomford Okyere said the increased enrolment by the CSSPS had placed immense pressure on existing facilities of the school, such as dormitories, sanitary facilities, dining hall furniture and classroom furniture.
She said there was a serious shortage of non-teaching staff in the areas of security, artisans, labourers and cooks adding that “these have come about as a result of the government freeze on employment.
She commended government for starting the process of award of contract for the construction of 3,000- seater capacity assembly hall.
The headmistress announced that, in the recent West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination result, the school recorded 98.2 percent passes in six-eight subjects out of a total of 681 candidates registered.
She lauded the old students’ association of the school for its immense support for the school over the years
The acting President of the Winneba Old Students Association (WOSA) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of International Vice-President of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, (CILT), Chief Teete Owusu-Nortey, enumerated many projects undertaken by the old students to improve academic work.
He mentioned the celebration of the 68th-anniversary celebration of the school by the 1987 year group, donation of 150 plastic chairs by the 1992 year group and the donation of 300 mono desk of the Member of Parliament for Effutu, Mr Alex Afenyo Markin among other donors.
An Industrialist, Professor Paul Buatsi, underscored the need for a paradigm shift in the school curricula, stressing “we cannot continue to produce graduates who could not be independent of their own”