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Government must engage stakeholders on double track free SHS – Rev Fr Larweh

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Our Lady of Mercy (OLAM) Senior High School (SHS) on Monday, launched its 20th anniversary celebration with a call on government to engage stakeholders on the free SHS education policy and the double track system.

Very Reverend Father Wisdom Larweh, Assistant Secretary General of the National Catholic Secretariat, speaking at the launching, said proper stakeholders’ engagement must be done to ensure the success of the policy.

Very Rev. Fr. Larweh said it was unfortunate that whenever Ghanaians ask questions as citizens, politicians refuse to listen to them noting that “when we become citizens and ask questions, they ask us to keep our mouths shut as they implement the policies they did not discuss with us”.

He added that no successive government should think they were doing Ghanaians a favour as it was their responsibility to provide education to the citizenry adding that “even if education is free, it is the tax payer’s money that is funding it”.

He bemoaned the falling standards in the country’s education saying there were inadequate infrastructure, inadequate teaching and learning materials, less supervision from public institutions making students and teachers restless.

“We now have free education with severe challenges of overcrowding, silence of head teachers, confusion among parents on what is going on, late arrival of government subventions, among others”.

Very Rev. Fr. Larweh indicated that Ghana’s education system over the past 20 years had seen instability as successive governments kept changing policies affecting the sector with either four years or three years SHS and the current free and double-track system.

He also stated that Ghanaian education was detached from the culture of the people as its curricula concentrated on Western theories, European values, and ancient teaching methods.

He therefore called on catholic schools in the country to continue to make Jesus the foundation of their institutions but ensure that “our culture develops”.

Mrs Janet Bour-Donkor, Headmistress of OLAM SHS, said the OLAM school’s project was initiated in 1999 when the OLAM Catholic Church in Tema Community One had the desire to contribute to education in the Tema Metropolis.

Mrs Bour-Donkor added that OLAM SHS which became a government assisted secondary school from January 1, 2001, currently boast of a population of 831 comprising of 454 and 387 for forms two and three respectively, with the form one admission still ongoing.

According to her, OLAM SHS had a lot of challenges including infrastructure deficit, inadequate furniture, teachers’ accommodation, lack of computers, uncompleted washroom project and no sick bay.

Other speakers including Mrs Margaret Nsiah-Asamoah, Tema Metropolitan Education Director, Mr Daniel Titus-Glover, Member of Parliament for the Tema East Constituency and Deputy Minister for Transport, all commended the school and encouraged students to learn hard for a secured future.

The occasion was used to unveil the anniversary logo for the celebration which would be climaxed in March, 2019 on the theme: “20 years of holistic catholic education, overcoming challenges, building resilience and sustaining excellence”.

Source: GNA

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