The Water and Sanitation Minister, Hon. Joseph Kofi Adda, has undertaken a monitoring tour to some Senior High Schools (SHS) in the Upper East Region to assess implementation compliance and challenges of the Free SHS programme.


Mr Adda was accompanied by the Upper East Regional Minister, Mr Rockson Ayine Bukari and the Bolgatanga Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Joseph Amiyuure.


At Bolgatanga SHS, popularly known as BIG BOSS, the Headmaster of the school, Mr Abaabu Afelibuiek, disclosed that even though the school had requested for 709 new entrants, the Computerized Selection and Placement System (CSPS) placed 590 students to it, adding that of this number, 588 had reported.


Hon. Adda, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Navrongo Central Constituency, assured the students that once they studied hard and made good grades right through to the university and completed, they were guaranteed of brighter opportunities in the world of work and business.


He advised the students to respect their authorities and obey school regulations emphasizing, “Don’t leave school without permission and report problems to the authorities when you have issues”.


Mr Bukari, who also addressed the students, described President Nana Addo as a transformational leader who saw education and human resource development as central to the progress of Ghana.


He urged the students to justify the huge intervention by government by taking their academic work seriously and be time-conscious, disciplined and humble at all times.


At the Bolgatanga Girls’ SHS, the Headmistress, Mrs. Rose Avonsige, disclosed that her school had requested for 585 first-year students but the CSPS gave a total placement of 477 students.


She said 401 students had been registered while 201 of them had reported to school at the time of the team’s visit.


She made a passionate appeal to the Water and Sanitation Minister to assist the school with a water source and toilet facility.


Hon. Adda pledged to construct a 12-seater water-closet toilet as well as drill a borehole with a corresponding overhead storage tank for the school.


The Rector of Notre Dame Minor Seminary SHS in Navrongo in the Kassena-Nankana Municipality, Rev. Father Francis Kudilogo, disclosed that the school requested for 91 students but 110 students were eventually placed to the school, adding however, that no single student had yet reported because the authorities had scheduled Friday, September 22, 2017 as reporting date for the fresh students.


Meanwhile at the Navrongo Secondary School, known widely as NAVASCO, the Headmistress, Mrs. Francisca Yezura, disclosed that her school and other sister schools in the Upper East Region had received 20 per cent payment of cash earmarked for disbursement to the various SHSs as their feeding grants and other expenses.


In addition, she said, the school also took delivery of some prescribed textbooks which were being distributed to students.


On the numbers sent to her school, Mrs. Yezura said 650 students were requested for, but 630 were placed and that the time of the visit, 598 students had been registered while 96 of them had actually reported for admission.


At Sandema Secondary-Technical School in the Builsa North District of the Upper East Region, the Headmaster of the school, Mr Solomon Adongo, disclosed that he requested for 700 students but got 459 and that, of the number placed, 285 were registered while 125 reported for admission into the school.


Hon. Adda expressed satisfaction that the Free SHS Programme had successfully taken off in the Upper East.


He noted, however, with concern the issue of students who missed out on admissions during the last academic but were now reporting for school to also have a taste of the Free SHS programme, thereby bloating the numbers.


He gave the assurance that discussions would be held with the Ministry of Education to absorb the additional numbers.


Source: ISD (Peter Atogewe Wedam)