Headmistress unhappy about students leaving school for family events

Mrs Benedicta Afesi, headmistress of the OLA Senior High School, (SHS) Ho, has expressed disapproval about parents seeking permission for their to attend family events such as funerals and weddings.

She said the practice, which was growing, represented an “excessive interference” into the well structured programme of the school and also disrupted the focus of students.

Mrs Afesi, who was speaking at the 57th Speech and Prize-Giving of the school, at the weekend, warned that: “derailing these adolescents has its own repercussions”.

She explained that the school calendar was responsive to the recreational and other co-curricular needs of needs of the students and, therefore, pleaded with parents to stop the practice.

The Day was under the theme: “Girl-Child Education – A Pre-requisite for Women Development.”

OLA SHS, a Girls School, has a total of 1,453 students, 58 teachers and also 58 non-teaching staff.

Mrs Afesi said the school continued to attain academic feats, with all the 338 students presented in the 2009 Senior Secondary School Examination passing with impressive grades.

She observed that the school’s status as an “institution of choice” from time immemorial was because it kept the discipline, using the Ghana Education Service (GES) code, with its own peculiar rules and influences of the Catholic Church’s moral ethics for the maintenance of law and order.

Mrs Afesi lauded the Past Old Students Union (POGA) for its support in refurbishing the computer laboratory among others and the Parent Teachers Association (PTA) for establishing an Endowment Fund to support, needy students and curricula and co-curricular activities.

On developments, she said besides the six unit classroom block, which was about complete, a new contract had been signed for a two-storey dormitory block.  Extensive refurbishment and expansion of the old classrooms and dining halls was in also the offing.

Mrs Afesi said the school needed a sports field and a bigger bus.

The Right Reverend Francis Anani Lodonu, Bishop of the Ho Diocese of the Catholic Church, asked parents to stop spoiling their children by involving them in frivolous social engagements.

He said the role of the religious bodies in education in Ghana was so crucial that any policy that would further weaken the religious bodies’ capacity to contribute to education delivery could spell doom for education and morality in Ghana.

Mrs Hilary Shika Gbedemah, a Lawyer and Gender Activist, who was the Guest of Honour, said there still existed in Ghana, practices, expectations, paradoxes and popular innuendos that inhibited the education and development of girls.

She warned that any development strategy that did not plan to bring along the more than 50 percent of Ghana’s population that were women would fail.

Mrs Betty Mould-Iddrisu, Minister for Education, said all was being done to raise the interest of girls in the sciences.

Mrs Juliana Azumah-Mensah, Minister of the Women and Children’s Affairs, an old student, observed that educating the girl child created a “ripple effect of opportunities that impact on generations to come”.

Dr Nii Narku Quaynor, Chairman, Ghana Dot Com, said there were no mysteries about the computer and urged girls to go into ICT which had lots of job opportunities.

Miss Grace Bonni, the School Prefect, said some school facilities, including dormitories and the dining hall, were woefully inadequate for the population on campus.

Prizes were awarded to deserving students with Ms Janet Kwame, winning the PTA-sponsored, best all-round student, which judges academic performance and comportment.

Mrs Philomina Afetsi, a former headmistress of the School, for 10 years, was also honoured.

Source: GNA

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