Addressing Infrastructure deficits in SHSs

The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, at the weekend touched on a very important issue on the minds of students, teachers and parents across the country.

The President in an address at the 68th Speech and Prize-Giving Day of Opoku Ware Secondary School said the government was investing heavily in the provision of educational infrastructure in Senior High Schools (SHSs) across the country, particularly in those running the double track system.

According to President Akufo-Addo, the implementation of the Free SHS policy “has meant an increase in the number of children accessing SHS education, for the simple reason that children, who would otherwise have stayed home or gone on prematurely, onto the labour market, because of the financial barriers to senior high school education, now have no reason to do so.”

With 1.2 million children currently enrolled in senior high schools across the country, the highest of such enrolment in Ghana’s history, the President explained that the expansion in access, automatically brought with it a problem of infrastructure.

He said that the problem of addressing the infrastructure deficit “was an excellent and exciting one, because more children wanting to go to school beyond Junior High School (JHS) was good news.”

He continued, “Our position is that every child who qualifies to be in SHS must be given the opportunity to do so.”

The Ghanaian Times is pleased that the government has turned its attention to addressing the infrastructural deficit that has hit senior high schools across the country.

With the huge number of students that are being admitted since the Free Senior High School policy was introduced, many schools are facing acute accommodation and classroom challenges that need quick fix.

It is common sight in secondary schools today, to see students sleeping on the veranda and in classrooms that have been converted into dormitories because of lack of space for the increased number of students.

Another familiar spectacle is students attending dinning in batches due to the large numbers. Because these dining halls were originally built to accommodate a specific number of students, the increase has presented a new challenge that was not envisaged.

Many of these schools have stretched their resources thin and school authorities are at their wits end as to what to do next. These school authorities would obviously heave a sigh of relief at the announcement made by the President and would wish the buildings come up immediately.

We are also excited as would many parents because the provisions of infrastructure would go a long way to ensure comfort for the students and also create conducive environment for learning and teaching.

We commend the government for the initiative and hope that work would be fast tracked for early completion of the infrastructure in order to bring some relief to students and school authorities.

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