The Ashanti Regional Students’ Representative Council (ARSRC) is questioning the Akufo-Addo’s government on the criteria used in determining boarders and day students in the implementation of its Free SHS policy.
ARSRC is also asking the government to spell out the quota for protocol admission for the various schools.
In a communique issued by ARSRC at the end of its 20th annual congress held at Tepa SHS signed by its Regional Coordinator Raphael Sarkodie and Regional President Samuel Odartey-Lamptey, it asked, ‘What is the criteria for determining who will be admitted as boarders and day students, what’s the quota for protocol admission for schools, the mandate of the Free SHS Officers and their relationship with heads of institutions.
‘Will heads of institutions engage suppliers directly, are the current facilities of schools capable of handling the pressure that will result from the implementation of the policy e.g. will students (day and boarders) eat in batches?’.
The congress attracted about one thousand, three hundred (1,300) student leaders from all second cycle institutions in the region.
The Council expressed fear that delays in the release of Free SHS Funds would result in serious Administrative challenges for schools and may result in closure of schools.
‘The student leaders resolved that a more sustainable approach should be adopted in the funding of the policy. Government must explore other reliable funding alternatives to ensure sustainability,’ it suggested.
Touching on the menace of leaked videos among Ghanaian youth,ARSRC suggested that the youth be educated on the judicious use of social media and its dangers.
‘Many youth are drawn into the social media craze without knowing the full benefit or dangers therein,’ it observed.
The communique was copied to the Minister of Education Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, Ghana Education Service (GES) Director General and the Ashanti Regional Director of GES.
Read details of ARSRC’s communique:
COMMUNIQUÉ ISSUED BY THE ASHANTI REGIONAL STUDENTS’ REPRESENTATIVECOUNCIL AT THE END OF ITS 20TH ANNUAL RESIDENTIAL CONGRESS HELD ATTEPA SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL FROM 30TH JULY – 4TH AUGUST 2017.
The Congress brought together one thousand, three hundred (1300) student leaders from all second cycle institutions within the Ashanti region and beyond to learn from celebrated and renowned resource persons, elect executives for the academic year ahead, deliberate on pressing student issues, reflect on previous year’s activities and plan for the year ahead.
The Educational, Constitutional and Social, Development and Strategic Committees were constituted to look at various issues of interest to students. At the end of their deliberations, the following were the resolutions of student leaders across the region.
Considering the stance of student leaders on the imminent implementation of the Free SHS Policy;
Student leaders resolved that;
Delays could be dangerous: student leaders resolved that delays in the Release of Free SHS Funds would result in serious Administrative Challenges for schools and may result in closure of schools. Since all sources of internally generated funds (IGF) would be non-existent apart from PTA Funds, the running of schools will predominantly depend on government funds hence any delay in the releases of funds will have dire consequences for schools. The current delays in subventions is a typical example.
Clarify the begging questions: Student leaders call on government to clarify certain begging questions ahead of the implementation; What is the criteria for determining who will be admitted as boarders and day students, what’s the quota for protocol admission for schools, the mandate of the Free SHS Officers and their relationship with heads of institutions, will heads of institutions engage suppliers directly, are the current facilities of schools capable of handling the pressure that will result from the implementation of the policy e.g. will students (day and boarders) eat in batches?
Funding Challenges and Sustainability: The student leaders resolved that a more sustainable approach should be adopted in the funding of the policy. Government must explore other reliable funding alternatives to ensure sustainability.
Non-partisan/bi-partisan approach the way to go: Student leaders resolved that government should work to win the support and commitment of other political parties for the policy to avoid a situation where the policy hinges on the current government stay in power. A nationalistic approach will ensure that successive government will still pursue the policy in the interest of students.
Place the Teacher at the heart of the policy: Students resolved that, the Free SHS Policy can only thrive if the welfare of the teacher is made paramount. Successive government have made lip service of teachers welfare over the years but the implementation of the Free SHS policy should be launching pad to raise the condition of service of teachers on whose shoulders the policy revolves
Considering the stance of student leaders on causes and ways to curb student’s unrests and demonstrations in schools,
Student leaders identified some of the causes of student’s unrests as; lack of effective communication between school administration and students in schools, weak SRCs, weak student leadership, weak intelligence and security systems in schools, lack of engagement between school administration and students etc.
Student leaders resolved that proper engagement between student leaders and authorities, strengthening the local SRCs, recognition for the rights of students, proper intelligence and security structures, friendly all-welcoming leadership styles are some of the measures that can curb student’s unrest in schools.
Considering the stance of student leaders on the judicious use of social media and the menace of leaked videos among the youth in Ghana, student leaders resolved that
As much as we recognize the importance of technology in our era, students or the youth of today will always take advantage of any opportunity to use phones in schools and eventually abuse it. We therefore call for strict enforcement of the ban on usage of phones in public schools will be very instrumental in checking unauthorized or accidental recordings
The youth should be educated more on the judicious use of social media and its dangers if it is abused. Many youth are drawn into the social media craze without knowing the full benefit or dangers therein. Proper education by appropriate quarters on how to maximize the benefits from social media and an expose on the dangers involved if abused will be very helpful
It is our hope that, these resolutions if given serious thought and consideration will go a long way to project our quest to build responsible leaders for tomorrow’s Ghana
Signed: Raphael Sarkodie Signed: Samuel Odartey-Lamptey
Regional Coordinator (0243-543-152) Regional President (0244831675)