By Mildred Siabi-Mensah/Olivia Ayerh, GNA
Takoradi, Dec. 01, GNA - Dr. Prince Hamid Armah, the Executive Secretary of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA), says increased access to secondary education was critical in increasing enrollment, reducing poverty and fostering economic development, particularly for the deprived child.
He said access to secondary education ensured gender equity for the girl child, allowed them to stay in school for a longer time as well as advance their socio-economic status.
Dr Armah said, "This is where the Basic education is corporated into the senior high school level so that everybody could have access to secondary education particularly now that the government has introduced the free senior high school policy".
The Executive Secretary of NaCCA was speaking at the 61th Speech and Prize giving Day of the Takoradi Senior High School in the Effia-Kwesimintsin Municipality of the Western Region.
The day was on the theme: " Facilitating Access to Secondary Education: A necessary Tool for National Development ".
He said pursuing access and quality education was therefore critical to achieve the tenets of the various reforms undertaken in the sector.
Already, according to the NACCA Executive Secretary, the government has invested 12 billion cedis in the free senior high school project with over 1.2 million children now accessing senior secondary education.
He said improving the human capital of any nation was tantamount to its spate of development and that Ghana has adopted to invest in it's people for a brighter future, "at least, we are all having a bite of the national cake through this policy ".
Though the gender parity index had over the years favoured men in terms of access to secondary education, the new policy may act as equalizer should more girls stay in school, he noted.
Dr. Armah said women have a remarkable influence in the society and the socio-economic growth of every nation and that expanded access to secondary education could help develop the capacities of more and more women to effectively play their roles in their homes and societies at large.
On the Curriculum Reforms, he said the NaCCA was working earnestly to produce a revised Senior high school curricula for implementation by 2020.
On text books for the Basic level, he indicated that the development of the Teachers Resource Pack was to act as a stop gap to challenges anticipated while publishers develop books to fit the various introductions and changes in the curricula.
Mrs. Sally Nelly Coleman, the Effia Kwesimintsin Municipality, Director of Education urged parents to appreciate the reforms which sought to make school children more in tune with changes in their environment and how best they themselves could contribute to problem solving in their communities.
She also encouraged them to regularly visit the schools to engage with tutors and support in buying books and other learning materials for elective programmes.
Mrs. Coleman on the other hand, urged all the students to make good use of the free senior high school education offered them and come out as best for other future prospect, " there are lots of scholarship around,if you are able to excel from here, you may get another free opportunity for tertiary education ".
The school scored 80 percent in the last year's WASSCE examination with master Albert Ekow Mensah topping with six As.
The school also honoured outstanding individuals from the various departments of the school, the 1994 year group for their meritorious contribution to the school and Ms Amy Fynn-Thompson, for being a great pillar in organising old students activities.
The 1994 year group, later presented six brand new Dell computers, a projector, UPS and some footballs to promote the sporting discipline as well.
Master Mershack Ansah, the Senior Boy's Prefect called for the expansion of the assembly and dinning hall, dormitories and computer laboratory to a facilitate good teaching and learning atmosphere.