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Free SHS policy needs periodic fine-tuning – CJ

Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo addressing the gathering at Wesley Girls High School

The Chief Justice, Ms Justice Sophia Akuffo, says the Free SHS policy calls for periodic fine-tuning and imaginative redesigning of concepts and methods to ensure that the outcomes of the initiative best serve students over the coming decade with relevant and usable knowledge. She said it was imperative for the government to continue to engage with school managers and stakeholders in frank and open dialogue with a view to ensuring the overall success of the free senior high school (SHS) policy.

While commending the government for the brave step in implementing the policy, she said it was essential for it to ensure there was clarity and credibility in the policy making process to guide all stakeholders in its implementation.

Ms Justice Akuffo was speaking at the 181st Speech and Prize-giving Day of the Wesley Girls’ High School in Cape Coast last Saturday.

The event was on the theme: “Maintaining quality education with the free SHS policy — The role of stakeholders”.

Stakeholder Support

She further called on all educational stakeholders to play their part in ensuring the success and survival of the policy.

“Parents and guardians should be reminded that the resources freed up by the policy can and must still be applied to investing in their children/wards’ education.

“With this, we have to make available to our children/wards facilities, programmes and projects that are beyond the standard curriculum of the Ghana Education Service (GES),” she added.

The Chief Justice called on teachers and administrators to give their wholehearted support as vital partners in the implementation of the policy for the sake of the children.

She said increased access to SHSs through the free SHS policy would create opportunities for more students, for which reason stakeholders must be willing to make the necessary sacrifices and show commitment to ensure its success.

“As the state plays its part, we must also step up and meet shared challenges in our quest for excellent outcomes,” she added.

Ms Justice Akuffo advised students not to deviate from pursuing excellence in every aspect of their lives but continue to respect rules designed to foster high standards and moral integrity.

Wesley Girls’

The Headmistress of the Wesley Girls’ High School, Mrs Kay Oppong-Ankomah, called on the government to complete the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) projects that had been initiated in the school, saying “the school needs a lot of infrastructure to accommodate the growing population of students”.

She said the school’s assembly hall project, which was started in 2008, was still 60 per cent complete, a situation which had compelled it to use its dining hall for chapel and dining alternatively every Sunday evening and during some major school functions.

“It is our ardent plea that projects which have been started would be completed within the shortest possible time to end the torture of the students standing throughout every morning assembly,” she added.

The 1997 Year Group, the main sponsors of the speech day, inaugurated a refurbished Visual Arts laboratory for the school.

Deserving students, teachers and workers were honoured.

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