The Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Accra, Very Rev. Fr Francis Adoboli, has urged students to turn educational challenges facing them into stepping stones for success in life.
Addressing the eighth Speech and Prize-Giving Day and the 20th anniversary celebration of Our Lady of Mercy (OLAM) Senior High School here on Saturday, he advised the staff, students, parents and the government to play their respective roles well to make the school one of the best in the country.
The celebration under the theme: ‘20 years of holistic Catholic education: Overcoming challenges, building resilience and sustaining excellence’, was used to honour 78 students and staff members for excellence.
The school was established by Our Lady of Mercy Catholic parish in Tema Community One, under the leadership of the late Rev. Fr Francis Beemsterboer, (SVD) to satisfy the secondary education needs of parishioners and other children in the community in 1999.
Very Rev. Fr Adoboli making reference from Matthew 19:26, proposed that educational stakeholders be resilient, have a positive mindset and a sense of purpose for the future to surmount obstacles in education.
“Through effective monitoring, constant evaluation and strong faith, Jesus Christ will show us the way to surmount the challenges,” he assured.
The Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Accra noted that the Catholic Church in its bid to employ education as a vehicle of evangelisation and human development had established schools at all levels of education in the country.
He commended the founders of the school for their vision and thanked the staff, students and the government for their efforts which was bearing good fruits.
The headmistress of OLAM SHS, Mrs Janet Bour-Donkor, said the school had 77 teachers, 18 non-teaching staff and a student population of 1,181.
She said the school had improved academically since its inception and was currently classified as a category ‘B’, adding, it obtained 100 per cent with no failure in the last two years at the West African Senior Secondary Certificate of Examinations (WASSCE).
She appealed to parents to support their wards by providing them with their basic needs to make teaching and learning more effective.
Mrs Bour-Donkor noted that some of the students placed at the school by the Computerised School Selection and Placement System (CSSPS), had very poor grades and that slowed down the ability to cover the syllabus in time to adequately prepare them for the WASSCE.
She also appealed to the Tema Development Corporation (TDC), Chiefs and the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) to release land around the school for the construction of hostel and boarding facilities.
The Member of Parliament for Tema East Constituency and Deputy Minister of Transport, Daniel Nii Kwartei Titus-Glover, commended the Catholic Church for its immense contribution to education and others sectors of the economy.
He said the government was determined to resolve all the challenges facing the free Senior High School programme and therefore urged other stakeholders to lend their support.
Mr Titus-Glover pledged to support more needy but brilliant students in the constituency.
FROM GODFRED BLAY GIBBAH, TEMA