Tarkwa (W/R) Aug. 22, GNA-University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) Basic School on Saturday climaxed its 25th Anniversary Celebration with a Speech and Prize-Giving Day Ceremony at Tarkwa. The School, which started with 16 pupils in 1980, has a population of 1,100.
The theme of the celebration was: "Quality Basic Education, the bedrock of National Development, the achievement and challenges". Addressing the gathering, Mrs Kafui Aku Fiakponoo, Western Regional Director of Education said Government showed commitment by providing quality education, particularly at the Basic Level through Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE) programme, which began in 1996.
She said a lot of interventions have been put in during the programme execution period and with the Government's introduction of the Capitation Grant, parents would enjoy "Free" aspect of the FCUBE programme.
Mrs. Fiakponoo said the release would also mean that the "Compulsory" aspect of (FCUBE) could be addressed to the letter and parents could face the risk of prosecution for failing to enrol their children in schools.
She said, however, that the Capitation Grant poses a serious challenge to all stakeholders as to how to finance the operations of a school and how to continue to support a school without the child being targeted for non-payment of development funds imposed by the Parent Teacher Associations/School Management Committees. The Director said these are the challenges which amicable solutions must be developed and sustained through dialogue with Ghana Education Service (GES).
She said the appropriate utilization of the fund to the advantage of the pupils should be the concern of all and therefore expected that when grants are released, School Management Committees would play their designated roles to join hands with the staff of GES to monitor the disbursement by Heads of Basic schools.
Mrs Fiakponoo congratulated the management, staff and pupils for managing the school to become one of the best Basic Schools in the Western Region culminating in the improved Basic Education Certificate of Education results and other achievements.
Nana Ohene Nyaatwe, Gyaasehene of Wassa Fiase traditional Area who represented the Paramount chief regretted that the processes of developing the potentials of young girls are often disrupted by defilement.
He said apart from infecting them with sexually transmitted diseases, these girls were also denied the chance of unearthing their potentials to help the nation in future.
Nana Nyaatwe therefore appealed to the men not to destroy the lives of the young girls because it was shameful.
In his report, the headmaster of the school, Mr Patrick Paintsil said the provision of quality education was a collective responsibility of government, parents community and stakeholders at all levels, so if any of these stakeholders failed to honour its obligation, the process of education would be disturbed.
For this reason, the Headmaster appealed to parents to take much interest in their children's education.
Master Jeffrey Eduku-Mozu, senior prefect of the school appealed for a well-resourced science laboratory and a computer laboratory for the school.
Counting some of the academic successes chalked under his tenure of office, he said eight pupils of the school were short listed to represent Western Region in Accra during the Coca-cola Essay Competition and one of them, Matilda Batcher, emerged as one of the first five winners of the Competition.
Prof. Daniel Mireku Gyimah, Vice Chancellor of UMaT, who chaired the function said as part of the Information Communication Technology (ICT) facility put in place at the University, the basic school has been added and its Computer laboratory would be completed and promised that UMaT would add 25 computers to the 25 promised by Mr David Renner, Managing Director, Anglogold Ashanti (Iduapriem) Limited. Master Joseph Keklebesi of JSS 1 was adjudged the over all best student. He raked home 10 prizes.