Vakpo Senior High Technical School (SHTS), an underprivileged second cycle institution in the North Dayi District of the Volta Region which could only admit 247 students, now has facilities that make it possible for the admission of over 1000 students.
The Headmistress of the school, Vivienne Akosua Dzifa Sessi, said, “This transformation which happened in less than three years has been made possible by the Free Senior High School (Free SHS) policy introduced in 2017 to increase access to secondary education across the country.”
She said that although the school was not where it wanted to be, its current situation was much better than where it used to be three years ago.
A visit to the school by DAILY GUIDE in 2016 showed that the technical school, which now has 83 staff members, prior to the introduction of Free SHS, was unattractive, had fewer staff members, lacked student placements and was woefully under resourced to the point that some of the students had to sleep in classrooms.
The school began in 1975 as a continuation school and it underwent several changes and educational reforms before it became a secondary technical school in 1991. As of the 2015/2016 academic year, the school had 247 students. This number shot up to 336 in the 2016/17 academic year, and increased to 616 in the 2017/2018 academic year.
The 2018/2019 academic year saw an increment of 751 students, while the current 2019/2020 academic year has a student population of 1062 students, representing a percentage rise of 330% from 2017 to date.
The increase in population has been matched with the construction of a new kitchen, additional classrooms and dormitories, mechanized boreholes with the latest project being a one-storey 12-unit classroom block and a 400-bed capacity boys' dormitory to complement the existing girls' dormitory.
According to Madam Sessi, the school would soon add Science to the six courses already being taught, namely Technical Science, Visual Arts, Home Science, Business, General Arts and Agric Science.
She was optimistic that the provision of a school bus, an administration block, an assembly/dining hall and a fence wall would go a long way to improve performance. Besides, she pleaded for another male and female dormitory block and accommodation for staff on campus.
Thankfully, the President, through the Education Minister, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, has promised to provide the school with a bus and an administration block soon.