President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said challenges of infrastructure and other logistics should not be used as a basis for condemning the free Senior High School.
That, he said was because the government was assiduously tackling the challenges, and encouraged all teachers and students to take up the challenge of giving off their best to ensure that the policy succeeded.
President Akufo-Addo said this in a speech read on his behalf 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 last Saturday in the Eastern Region.
The celebration was on the theme: "50 Years of secondary education at Ase; Achievements, challenges, the role of stakeholders and the way forward ". The ceremony saw acrobatic displays, cultural dancing, and presentation of prizes in honour of students who excelled in their various classes.
The President emphasized that the government would not turn its back on the policy in spite of the odd challenges and difficulties.
“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,” the President said.
The President, therefore, entreated all Ghanaian not to do anything to run down the enviable policy.
Nana Akufo-Addo said it was in the national interest to have all our people educated for the total development of the country.
He explained that there was a need to bridge the literacy gap to produce educated people to contribute to the economic and political discourse towards the development of the country.
“It is for this that my government has taken the Free SHS as one of the key flagship policies in the country,” he said.
He said the free SHS was achieving great strides and the number of children had double in the SHSs, making it possible for all children to get an education.
President Akufo-Addo assured the students of better opportunities and entreated them to avoid social vices.
He urged all students to excel in next year's West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) to prove all doubting Thomases wrong about the policy.
He paid a glowing tribute to the late Nana Kwasi Ohenebeng, a native of Asuom who established the school in 1965." This legacy is what everybody in the country should emulate".
The president pledged to donate a Seater bus to the school to alleviate some of the transportation problems facing the school and also directed the Minister of Roads and Highways to fully rehabilitate all the internal roads of the school.
The Headmaster of the school, Mr Francis Koomson-Barnes, in his report, put the student's population of the school at 1,502, comprising of 813 males and 689 females, 1142 boarders and 359-day students.
He said the academic performance in 2019 was far better than what was achieved in 2018 and saluted Master Joseph Ahenekwa who obtained seven ones in the 2019 WASSCE.
Mr Koomson-Barnes said some of the challenges facing the school were lack of laboratory equipment for the science laboratory, a dining hall to cater for both staff and students, a new assembly hall that can 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, Managing Director of Freddies Corner, donated GHC10,000 and urged all students to study hard to ensure that they went beyond acquiring mere certificates in the course of their education.
Dr. Matey, an old student of the school, recounted the hardships they went through during their school days and said the school was now blessed with many social amenities.