By Godfred A. Polkuu
Sandema (U/E), March 6, GNA – Madam Vida Akantagriwen Anaab, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for the Builsa North Municipality, says the Free Senior High School (FSHS) policy must be consciously sustained.
She said the programme provided fair and equitable access to education for all Ghanaian children irrespective of their location or economic background.
She reminded members of the public that “With the implementation of this programme, all fees of students such as boarding, tuition, feeding, library, examinations, sports, and culture among others are absorbed by the government.
“And this is by far the biggest government investment in the education sector.”
Madam Anaab said this when she addressed this year’s 66th Independence Anniversary parade in Sandema, the Municipal capital.
The Anniversary was on the theme: “Our unity, our strength, our purpose,” and brought together students, security service officials, Heads of Departments and members of the public to witness march-pass by pupils in the Municipality.
Madam Anaab gave the assurance that there was “no turning back” on the FSHS policy by the government owing to the huge benefits associated with the policy, despite the challenges in the economy, “Government will always find the resources to sustain and safeguard the future of our children,” she added.
She used the occasion to admonish pupils in the Municipality, especially this year’s Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) candidates to take their studies seriously to enable them to make good grades and enrol on the FSHS programme.
On projects undertaken by the Assembly in the education sector, the MCE said the Assembly had constructed three-unit classroom blocks at the Mutiensa and Kpandema communities, and for Saint Martin’s Junior High School at Wiaga.
She said the Assembly was working to secure funding for more educational infrastructure and facilities across the Municipality and had procured and distributed dual desks to basic primary, constructing a library, and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Centre at Chuchuliga.
That, Madam Anaab said would help “Improve on the sorry nature of our educational outcomes over the past few years,” and disclosed that the Municipal Education Oversight Committee (MEOE) which was dormant, had been reconstituted and functioning effectively.
Madam Victoria Mahama Aganalie, the Municipal Director of the Ghana Education Service (GES), said the Municipality scored 36.7 per cent in the 2021 BECE with an improvement of 3.1 per cent over the 2020 results.
She said Saint Martins and Afoko Junior High Schools emerged first and fourth respectively in the grand finale of the first-ever Inter-Municipal Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) quiz competition for girls between the Bolgatanga and Builsa North Municipalities.
Madam Aganalie said the quiz was organized by Afrikids Ghana, a Non-Governmental Organization, in collaboration with the GES, “Also, three girls of the Municipality placed third, fifth and tenth positions in the Regional cross-country competitions and qualified for the national competition.”
She expressed concern that despite the achievements over the years, challenges such as early marriage, teenage pregnancy, student absenteeism, inadequate teaching and learning resources, and students’ riots among others militated against quality education in the Municipality.
The GES Director, therefore, called on stakeholders in the area to unite and address the challenges to pave the way for quality outcomes, and further advised pupils in the Municipality to stay away from drug abuse, early marriage, and premarital sex among other which could jeopardise their future aspirations.