Tema Senior High School (TEMASCO) on Saturday marked its 58th speech and prize giving day with a call on all stakeholders to put their shoulders to the wheel to make quality education accessible to all Ghanaian children.
President of Elgin Community College in the United States of America, Dr David Fiifi Sam, who made the call said educational funding was a challenge in every country but urged the state to continue to prioritise education and allocate the requisite budget for it.
He was speaking on the theme “Sustainable Funding of Quality Education: The Role of Stakeholders.”
Dr Sam said because other sectors of the economy deserved equal attention comprehensive and quality education for all children required the support of communities, teachers, parents, civil society organisations, benevolent organisations and the students themselves.
“The communities and assemblies must supplement the central government’s effort and see schools in their vicinity as part of their responsibilities to help them succeed by giving pupils and students the right education and upbringing,” he said.
Dr Sam said no society or country developed without a significant percentage of an educated population adding, education must therefore be seen as an investment and not a mere expense.
Dr Sam who is also an old student of TEMASCO or an Anchorite, as they are usually called, recommended the establishment of endowment funds in schools for a sustainable funding of quality education in the country.
He said if the fund was invested and managed well, the interest gained would serve as a healthy pool of money for the needed development of schools and provision of other needs.
“The seed money for this endowment could come from parents who can pay for their children’s education but are not doing so now because of the Free Senior High School (FSHS) policy. Some are itching to make such contributions and it will be in the interest of the school to tap into this funding source”, he said.
Deputy Minister for Education in charge of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), GiftyTwum Ampofo, said the government was focused on resolving the inherent challenges of the FSHS as soon as possible and expand the physical infrastructure of senior high schools across the country.
She said beyond improving access, the government was committed to ensuring quality and relevant education that would produce confident, skilled global citizens ready to compete with their counterparts anywhere in the world.
She encouraged students to discard the erroneous impression and misconception that TVET was the preserve of less academically endowed students and pursue careers in skills training for the development and industrialisation of the country.
The headmaster of the school, Mr Emmanuel Ofoe Fiamewhle, said the school had a total population of 2,435 students made up of 1,088 boys and 1347 girls, 161 teaching and 68 non-teaching staff.
He said the school needed additional six Mathematics teachers, three English language teachers and five Visual Art teachers.
Mr Fiamewhle noted that the inadequacy of teachers meant that some classes lacked teachers in those subjects while some teachers taught throughout the year without taking their vacation.
Master Theophilus Okpoti Charway, a Business student, was the overall best student in the 2019 West Africa Senior High School Certificate Examination in TEMASCO with 6A1s, a B2 and C4.
In spite of the achievement he could not enter the university this year after he gained admission into the University of Ghana Business School to pursue Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.
Members of the Tema Old Students Association, led by Mercy Mensah Addo and Dr Sam, pledged to offer full scholarship for his university education.
In all, 82 students and five retiring teachers received various categories of awards.
FROM G. BLAY GIBBAH AND KEN AFEDZI, TEMA