Agate SHS celebrates maiden speech, prize giving day

The Agate Senior High School in the Afadzato South District of the Volta Region celebrated its maiden speech-and-prize-giving day over the weekend – 38 years after its establishment.  

The celebration, under the theme: Science and Technology: A vehicle for National Development, was meant to raise funds to build a well-equipped science and technology block for the school.  

The Okere District Director of Education, Mrs Comfort Ofori-Appiah, who was the guest of honour, said that the world was becoming increasingly complex, whereby success was not only driven by what one knew but also by what one could do with what he or she knew.  

That, Mrs Ofori-Appiah said, highlighted the need for the youth to be equipped with the appropriate skills to solve problems, gather and evaluate evidence and make sense of information.  

She pointed out that such skills were readily derived from Science, Technology, Engineering Education and Mathematics (STEM) education.  

Sadly, however, she said that few students pursued expertise in STEM fields in the wake of inadequate skilled teachers in the STEM subject areas.  

To reverse this trend, STEM education among the youth was now a principal focus of various activities by the Ghana Education Service, said Mrs Ofori-Appiah.  

“The careers of the future will most certainly be centred on STEM fields, while also invoking 21st Century skills such as critical thinking, creativity, cultural awareness, collaboration and problem solving,” she added.  

Mrs Ofori-Appiah stated that STEM education, when carried out properly, would definitely complement the contemporary global development skills.  

The headmistress, Madam Benedicta Amala Mawunyo, said that the school which took off in September 1983 from a humble beginning with 43 students and six teachers now had an enrolment of 443 and staff strength of 61.  

She said that in spite of the severe challenges facing it, the Agate SHS continued to excel in examinations conducted by the West African Examinations Council.  

The school prefect, Master Ulrizine Amissah, grieved over the “one building school” reference often made to Agate SHS, saying it was very disheartening to the students.  

“With our increasing population, and as a boarding school, the only 18-unit building we have cannot continue to serve as dormitories and learning centres.  

“We humbly request that major stakeholders look into this as quickly as possible, in the wake of increasing students’ population; we need classrooms and dormitories,” he added.  

FROM ALBERTO MARIO NORETTI, AGATE

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