Deputy Minister of Education, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, has given clear indication that quality would not be sacrificed as the government rolls out the free senior high school (SHS) policy.

It is for this purpose that it has been collaborating with various partners to implement programmes such as the secondary education improvement project (SEIP), expansion of physical infrastructure, free supply of core subject textbooks and enhancement of teacher education.

He underlined the determination of the government to continue to put in place pragmatic and necessary interventions to motivate teachers and students to work harder.

Dr. Adutwum was speaking at the 65th speech and prize giving day of the Saint Louis SHS in Kumasi.  “Equipping the girl child for tomorrow’s leadership: giving back to society” was the theme chosen for the event.

The Deputy Education Minister criticized the situation where many young people were unable to access SHS because of the financial circumstances of their family and said “as a nation we cannot continue like this”.

He repeated that the nation’s human resources were its most valuable asset and that “our children’s education is key to our economic growth”.

He said the cornerstone of the free SHS policy, which would start in the coming September, was that no child was denied the opportunity of senior high education by reason of their financial circumstances.

He applauded the past students of the school for the construction of a new dormitory block to ease the pressure on accommodation and for engaging in comprehensive mentoring and career counselling for the students.

Dr. Ernest K. P. Kwarko of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, called for parents to spend quality time with the girl child – show love and be firm with them, to help prevent them from making fatal mistakes as they learned through experimentation.

He encouraged the adolescent girls to also take responsibility and develop the right attitudes of self-belief, self-confidence and self-motivation.

They should additionally have the ability to manage stress and peer pressure, he added.

Mrs. Theresa Addae Commeh, the Headmistress, stated that discipline and academic performance were high in the school.

“At the risk of sounding boastful, let me just modestly say we clocked 100 per cent in all the programmes we offer here and about 99 per cent of our girls got programmes of their choice at the universities and other tertiary institutions of their choice.”

The school has however been struggling with challenges – residential accommodation for teachers and lack of adequate space for effective teaching and learning.

She therefore appealed for early completion of the plethora of uncompleted projects in the schools.