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04.06.2006 General News

Endeavour to reverse poor academic performance - Justice Gbadegbe

By GNA

Chairman of the Board of Governors of Mawuli School, Justice Sulley N. Gbadegbe, has called for a research into the steady decline in academic performance in schools within Ho Municipality and the region at large.

He said the trend as shown in the 'league table' of performance of various schools in the country at the Senior Secondary School (SSS) examinations put the best schools from Volta Region 'outside the first 20'.

Mr Justice Gbadegbe, who is also a High Court Judge, made the call at the 56th Honours Day of Mawuli School in Ho on Saturday.

Mawuli School, founded by the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana in 1950 as a co-educational institution, currently has an enrolment of 1,459, comprising 908 boys and 551 girls with 75 teachers and 79 auxiliary staff.

He noted that the situation could be as a result of the quality of students passed on by basic schools in the region to the Senior Secondary Schools.

Mr Gbadegbe said though there were many students from other regions in Senior Secondary Schools in the Volta Region "it is largely true that the catchment area of our students come mainly from the Volta Region".

He said finding out the problem on the decline of standards in the schools was a challenge, a task that "we must purposefully direct our energies to in order to reverse this unfortunate trend or we lose the heritage that our fathers left to us in education".

Mr David Afudego, Headmaster in his report, complained that the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service had not been able to sustain the momentum in the provision of infrastructure to meet the increase in students of the school.

He said the school had only 20 standard classrooms and was forced to partition the school canteen into temporary classrooms, converted one of the boys' dormitory block into classrooms, hoping that an 18-unit classroom block under construction since 1994 would be completed but to avail.

Mr Afudego said the Assembly Hall Complex initiated by old students but which was absorbed into the Public Investment Project had also "seen little progress".

Other projects listed by the Headmaster that were started and abandoned included the Administration and Library Block and a fence wall initiated by the Old Students Union.

He commended the Parent Teacher Association for purchasing a 58-seater Tata Bus for the school through a levy of 50,000 cedis per student and also providing a well-equipped computer laboratory.

Mr Afudego said Old Mawuli Students Union (OMSU) (North America Branch) was renovating the School Clinic and re-roofing the 14-Unit Classroom block, while the UK branch provided 12.5 million cedis for a workshop for teachers.

He said OMSU 1975 Group had also pledged to renovate three teaching staff bungalows and donated three lawn mowers and an air conditioner to the school.

Mr Kofi Dzamesi, Volta Regional Minister announced that the 18-Unit Classroom Block would be re-awarded to a more efficient contractor to complete the project by September this year.

Miss Elizabeth Ohene, Minister of State at the office of the President pledged 200,000 cedis to every final year student who made grade "A" in English and mathematics for the next three years.

The ceremony was nearly marred by a rainstorm which sent students, teachers, dignitaries and other invited guests fleeing a vast canopy of trees in the frontage of the school, original venue, to safety leaving only the school Cadet Corp, who were being inspected by Mr Dzamesi, Guest of Honour, drenched and defiantly chanting inspirations songs as they marched.

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