General News Thu, 21 Sep 2017

Government officials storm schools over possible sabotage of free SHS

Top government officials have paid an unannounced visit to some senior high schools over cases of possible sabotage of the Free SHS education policy.

The visit was also to assess the performance of the programme, less than a week after it was rolled out.

Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo, accompanied by some officials of the Ghana Education Service (GES), visited some schools in the Ashanti Region.

Joy News' Erastus Asare Donkor reported the Minister came face to face with the condition of schools that have been given more students than was requested.

In one incident, a school declared about 500 spaces to GES but it was given 1,151 first year students.

The development has compelled the school to convert some classrooms into an accommodation facility, Erastus has reported.

Moved by the situation, Mr Maafo tasked the Ashanti Regional and district GES directors to address the issue.

But the Headmistress of Ola Girls in the Volta Region has been told not to sabotage the education policy.

Mrs Benedicta Afeti reportedly admitted less than 450 first year students into the boarding, far lower than the number she admitted last year.

Lands Minister, John Peter Amewu was displeased by the Headmistress' action leading to his reprimand.

"It is just a signal that we wouldn't want heads of institutions to send in a sense that if you've had 650 students [previously] and you have been given 450 students, it means there is a vacancy," he said.

Joy News' Volta Regional Correspondent, Ivy Sertodjie reported Mrs Afeti's action may have been triggered by the situation in Mawuko Girls SHS which is congested, a direct result of overpopulation.

"They don't have enough room to serve as a dormitory...so they don't want the place to be crowded," the reporter re-echoed the position of Ola Girls authorities.

But GES Director-General Professor Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa told Evans Mensah on Joy FM's Top Story Wednesday, the infrastructure in the various schools determined the number of students alloted to them.

He explained after the various schools had submitted the number of students they need, a team was tasked to tour their infrastructure.

"We went round to assess their [situation] for some we increased and for others we decreased [the student intake]," he said.

Professor Opoku-Amankwaah noted the"major challenge" with this year's admission is that more students want to be admitted into the boarding house.

He said GES is ready to increase the enrolment number of students in day schools, lamenting the students are not interested in that.

Source: Myjoyonline.com
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