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26.02.2005 Regional News

Pay school fees through banks - headmistress

By GNA

Ho, Feb. 26, GNA - Mrs Philomena Afeti, Headmistress of OLA Secondary School in Ho has advised parents and guardians to pay the school fees of their children and wards with bank payment orders or directly into accounts of schools to avoid losing huge amounts of money through thefts or misappropriation. She conceded that commissions paid on such transactions at the banks were high but asked parents to be mindful of the risk of carrying quite huge sums of money around these days.

Mrs Afeti who was giving an overview of the 2003/2004 academic year during the Annual General meeting of the Parent/Teacher Association (PTA) on Saturday said it was not uncommon for students entrusted with school fees, to use them on other things. She also spoke against the practice of some parents passing on the payment of school fees to subsequent terms, saying that though "times were hard parents should endeavour to pay fees regularly to save their children the embarrassment of being sent home".

Mrs Afeti stated that government had not released funds for those on scholarship for the year thereby adding to the difficulty in purchasing food, since suppliers were refusing credit. She expressed reservations about students sending messages to their parents whenever they were sick without recourse or knowledge of school authorities. Mrs Afeti assured parents that the school had well laid out procedures for handling sick students and would duly inform them if their wards were too sick and needed to go home.

The Headmistress also asked parents to inform school authorities whenever their wards were on unorthodox medications, to enable them act with dispatch, in case of reactions, as had happened in some few cases. She said OLA Secondary School remained the best performing Senior Secondary School in the Volta Region, according to the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSSCE) results league table released by the Ghana Education Service (GES).

Mrs Afeti said the school presented 332 students for the 2004 examinations and scored 100 per cent with all the candidates passing in 11 subjects. She said 258 candidates got between aggregate seven and 24, which qualified them to enter tertiary school. Mrs Afeti attributed the good performances over the years to the "good level of discipline" in the school and the PTA sponsored extra classes. She reminded parents to visit their wards only at the stipulated visiting hours, regretting that some parents and their emissaries when visiting proceed to fetch their wards even if they were in dormitories without permission, and protest when school authorities complain. "That is unacceptable, the dormitories for students are out of bounds to everybody out of the school system, including parents," the Headmistress stressed.

Mr Lawrence Kokorokoh, Chairman of the PTA in a report said the school fence wall and Assembly Hall projects were going on according schedule. He said the government, through the GETFUND, had taken over the construction of the Assembly Hall Complex and hinted that it would be completed soon. Mr Kokorokoh lauded the quality of individual performance in the 2004 SSSCE with 63 students attaining grade A and 94 with grade B in mathematics while 16 got A and 78 got B in English Language. He said the extra class hours had been merged with the normal school classes hour system for convenience.

There was furore over the audited financial report with some parents insisting that the Auditor who examined the accounts be present to read his report and answer queries otherwise the report was technically flawed and unacceptable. The meeting, nonetheless, went ahead and accepted the report but set up a three-member committee to collate and clear concerns of parents with the audit team. Mr Fred Accorlor, a Ho Polytechnic Lecturer was elected Chairman of a new executive committee to run the association for the next two years.

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