The quality of the Free Senior High School (FSHS) education programme is not poor but good, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, the Minister of Education, has asserted.
The “FSHS programme did not come to diminish the quality of the country's education,” Dr Adutwum said and expressed optimism that the right interventions being implemented by the government would ensure the quality level of the programme and would always be at par with increased students’ enrolment.
He observed that some people contended enrolment had increased with resultant diminished quality, but that was wrong and not plausible because, in education policy, quality could be increased alongside enrolment.
Dr Adutwum made the point, in a speech read on behalf of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo at a durbar organised by the board, management and old students of the Dormaa Senior High School (DORMASS) to climax the 75th-anniversary celebration of the school, at Dormaa-Ahenkro in the Dormaa Central Municipality of the Bono Region.
The well-attended event was on the theme: of “Educating the Youth for Sustainable Development”.
Dr Adutwum cited a number of factors and ways, which could lead to enhanced quality of education such as students' punctuality to school and getting more time for instructions, provision of textbooks to students and payment of teachers for interventions.
He bemoaned the low number of students reading science programmes in the school and therefore directed the school management to take steps to increase the number and assured them that efforts would be made soon for the supply of chemistry, physics and biology laboratory equipment to the school to enhance effective teaching and learning of science.
Dr Adutwum described the school as a perfect example of improved quality of education under the FSHS education policy and referred to available statistics, which suggested a steady increase in the numbers of students who had gained admission to universities from 2016 to 2020.
In 2016, before the FSHS was introduced, the number of students who qualified to enter the universities was 21.5 per cent, but after the introduction in 2017, it was 50 per cent, he said, adding that in 2018, it rose to 55 per cent, whilst 2019 was even better at 78.2 per cent and increased to 89 per cent in 2020.
Dr Adutwum said the government was determined to transform the nation, hence, the introduction and promotion of new education policies in teaching and learning such as Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and Technical, Vocation, Education and Training (TVET), critical thinking approaches and expansion of teacher education from three to four years.
The essence of teacher education and training years increase, “is to build and strengthen the development, competency, capacity and skills of teachers to enable them to impact positively on school children to accelerate the socio-economic development of the country,” he explained.
Dr Adutwum advised the students to eschew laziness and be more focused on studying seriously to guarantee them the success to attain their respective future academic and professional goals.
Madam Justina Owusu-Banahene, the Bono Regional Minister earlier in an address said the occasion must encourage the teaching and non-teaching staff and students to work even harder to propel the school to attain more laurels.
She gave an amount of Gh¢10,000 as a personal contribution to the anniversary programme.