Today, we have carried a pathetic story about the Ave Senior High School at Ave-Dakpa in the Akatsi district of the Volta region. Founded in 1991, the school has no decent accommodation for students and tutors. Classes are conducted in ramshackle buildings designated for classrooms.
It is therefore not surprising that students refuse enrolment into the school, leading to the overall population of the school dwindling over the years. The only Pick-Up vehicle for the school has also broken down for several months now, with the Ghana Education Service looking on unconcerned.
One of the reasons why government introduced community schools across all corners of the country was to bring secondary school education to the doorsteps of the people, but if up till today some of these schools have been left to cater for themselves, it means that the objectives for their establishment have been defeated. The Chronicle sees the current state of Ave Senior High School as an indictment on a country that is working round the clock to achieve a middle-income status.
If we admit that Malaysia and South Korea among other countries were able to achieve their current status because of the importance they attached to education, then it is incumbent upon us to also follow their foot steps. We will be paying dearly if government fails to pay proper attention to some of these deprived schools. The Chronicle does not for instance understand why the government should still be concentrating on the already established and well resourced schools in the urban centres, and relegate the rural ones to the background.
The Ave SHS as it stands now does not deserve to be called a Senior High School by virtue of its almost run down structures. The Chronicle therefore calls on government and the Akatsi District Assembly to put their heads together to salvage the school. The fact that the population of the school has been dwindling since its establishment because of its poor infrastructure shows that something ought to be immediately done to save it from collapsing.
If Ghana as a country is to avoid the rural-urban drift, which has been the bane of our economy, then the government has the responsibility to ensure that the rural child also has all the available social facilities, including Secondary School education at his or her disposal. The sort of ramshackle structures of some of these rural schools and the half hearted approach to work by the teachers are tantamount to giving the children half education, which will churn out graduates for jobs on the streets. This is obviously not where Ghana should be aiming at in this age of information technology.
The Chronicle believes that there are other community secondary schools that are suffering in terms of infrastructure just like Ave SHS, except that their problem has not been brought to the attention of the public. It is the hope of The Chronicle that proceeds accruing from the GETFUND would judiciously be utilized so that these rural secondary schools would also have their fair share of the national cake.