Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Education Minister
Forty million dollars has been approved by parliament to help expand infrastructure in 75 senior high schools (SHSs) to enable them to cope with the pressure the ‘Free SHS’ policy has brought on them.
The facility is meant to help increase the chances of many more students to access quality secondary education.
With the same facility, 125 schools will continue to benefit from improvement in quality and assessment of students’ performance for entry into the universities.
All these form part of the overall Secondary Education Improvement Project (SEIP) started in 2014 by the erstwhile National Democratic Congress (NDC) government.
The project, which is in its second phase, will see 107 senior high schools, in addition to receiving i-box and school mapping training, being hooked to the School Performance Partnership Plans (SPPP), which is aimed at improving quality of education in those deprived schools.
The same number of schools will also benefit from internet connectivity and solar panels.
One hundred and seven schools will receive Science and Mathematics training in four years while additional 125 will get such training in two years to improve proficiency in those two core subjects.
Under the same project, $4.5 million will be assigned to award bursaries to at least 10,000 needy students to help them meet certain crucial expenses such as transportation, clothing, footwear, among others.
Approving the loan facility on Thursday, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Trobu and second deputy majority chief whip, Moses Anim, said that because of the free SHS policy introduced by the government, it would do everything in its power to ensure that access to secondary education is expanded without compromising quality.
This, he pointed out, was the reason why the government had committed some money under the $40 million facility, to help improve quality education as well as proficiency in Mathematics and Science to ensure that after secondary education, as many students as possible can enter universities to further their education.
Mr Anim said that the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), members, who had been the ‘doubting Thomases’ of the government’s Free SHS, must rather change their attitude and fully support the policy to benefit all Ghanaians.
A former deputy minister of education and NDC MP for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, noted that the government needs to bring such loan facilities for approval in parliament so as to bring the two parties together and also enhance nationalism.
According to him, such loans are not for partisanship purposes but to help improve general education in the country.
He said that once the general purpose of the World Bank loan is to improve facilities in less-endowed senior high schools and also improve the quality of education, the NDC would support such a move.
Most of the beneficiary districts are in the Upper West, Upper East, Northern, Volta, Brong-Ahafo and Central Regions.
By Thomas Fosu Jnr