Bolgatanga, Nov. 21, GNA - Vice President Aliu Mahama, expressing concern about the poor quality of work on some of the projects being undertaken to upgrade senior secondary schools into centres of excellence, has tasked the Education Ministry to ensure that the projects are executed to perfection.
He directed the relevant authorities to closely monitor the projects and abrogate the contracts of those found to be incompetent so that contractors would not undermine the government's vision to complete the first phase of the programme by the end of the year.
The Vice President, an engineer, pointed out some of the technical defects in the Administration Block being constructed for the Bolgatanga Senior Secondary School (BIG BOSS), saying the sub-standard job was unacceptable and had to be corrected immediately.
The Vice President said the government was determined to make quality education accessible in the shortest possible time to rural communities and urged all those participating in the upgrading programme to do their best to make it successful.
"Let nobody be a hindrance in our efforts to make quality education the catalyst to poverty eradication", he stressed. "The facilities must be ready to make teaching and learning more effective and comfortable in our schools."
The Bolgatanga Senior Secondary School is one of the 31 schools selected for upgrading in the first phase of the project to transform at least one senior secondary school in each district into a model institution.
The school is benefiting from 12 projects, including an assembly block, girls' dormitory and accommodation facilities for staff. It had until now not seen any expansion or rehabilitation work since its establishment in 1970.
Addressing the students and staff in their newly renovated dining hall, Vice President Mahama thanked the staff for their commitment and sacrifices for giving their best with the limited teaching aids and facilities, saying that was why the government was improving the conditions.
He advised the students to justify the investments being made by the state and their parents in them by being hardworking, disciplined and determined to achieve the highest level of education.
"You are our future," he said. "If you remain committed to your books, respect authority and become focused you could be engineers, teachers, lawyers, doctors, ministers and even heads of states tomorrow".
He advised them to use the approved rules and channels to address their concerns and not to resort to the destruction of school property or stealing to get even with the school authorities.
Vice President Mahama assured them of continued investment by the NPP Administration in education towards quality manpower development. He also visited the Bolgatanga Girls Secondary School, the Bolgatanga Technical Institute and the Navrongo Secondary School to interact with the staff and students on their concerns and the NPP Administration's vision for them.
Vice President Mahama, who devoted his Friday programme to mainly educational institutions, was also at the Midwifery Training School at the Bolgatanga Regional Hospital and the Nurses Training College. At both institutions, he commended the staff and students for their crucial role in health delivery and appealed to them to stay home to help build Ghana.
"The health of the nation depends on you and we cannot build this nation without your sacrifices", he explained.
"You should, therefore, not join the mass exodus of nurses but rather convince those in 'economic exile' to return home and to contribute towards the development of our country."
The Vice President acknowledged that the conditions of service was not the best as compared to the developed countries, but assured them that more incentives would be provided in due course in addition to the extra duty allowance, transportation package and housing scheme so far introduced by the government.
The heads of the various institutions visited praised the government for the projects undertaken in the schools and appealed for more accommodation facilities for students and staff, staff common rooms and buses.