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27.10.2003 General News

Many JSS graduates on the streets

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Tema, Oct. 27, GNA - About 158,000 Junior Secondary School (JSS) graduates who are unable to enter second cycle institutions end up on the streets every year, Mr Abraham Aidooh, Deputy Majority Leader in Parliament, said on Saturday.

Mr Aidooh said according to a report: "Meeting The Challenges Of Education In The 21st Century" by the Special Education Committee set up by President John Agyekum Kufuor, said out of an average of 240,000 JSS students who passed out yearly since 1990, only about 72,000 representing 30 per cent of the number gained admission into Senior Secondary School (SSS).

Mr Aidooh, also Member of Parliament for Tema West, was speaking at the 30th anniversary/speech and prize-giving day of Mexico Number One JSS. He said about 10,000 JSS candidates representing four per cent are admitted into Technical/Vocational institutions.

Mr Aidooh said the gross enrolment rate at JSS level was 63.3 per cent, implying that about 36.7 per cent of pupils of school going age were not in the classroom.

He said generally, the percentage of Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) certificate holders who actually gained admission to SSS is around 40 per cent.

Mr Aidooh, who was speaking on the theme: "Quality Education, A Responsibility Of All," suggested that the SSS should be allowed to run a shift system as was tried at Chemu SSS in Tema (but was cancelled), to ensure that as many JSS students entered SSS.

He asked the Ghana Education Service (GES) to allow JSS candidates, who failed their BECE to re-sit the examination to better their grades to enable them to pursue higher education.

Mr Samuel Evans Ashong Narh, Tema Municipal Chief Executive in a speech read on his behalf, announced that the assembly would increase the number of beneficiaries to its scholarship scheme from 20 to 30 to enable more pupils to have access to education.

He said the assembly would sponsor nurses, who would be obliged to work in the Municipality after their courses.

Mrs Lucy Kwapong, Tema Municipal Director of Education, in a speech read on her behalf, noted that community participation in education was now firmly rooted.

She, therefore, called on individuals and parents to contribute to the development of education.

Mrs Kwapong said the Directorate had for the past three months embarked on the training of members of School Management Committees (SMCs) and Parents Teacher Associations (PTAs) in order to enhance their performance in the administration of schools.

Mr Mohammed Ali, the PTA Chairman of the School, said the PTA/SMC had mobilised funds to provide furniture for the school and to paint the school buildings.

Mr Ali said the PTA/SMC appealed to individuals and organisations to support the school.

Mrs Sally Tsibu-Mensah, Headmistress of the School, said the institution was adopted by the then Charge d'Affairs of the Republic of Mexico in 1973.

ECOBANK presented a 25-inch colour television set to the school, while Tema Ports gave the school two million cedis.

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