President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said Ghana needs transformational leaders who can translate words into action, as the country strives to join the developed economies. He said the Government could not make every citizen rich but with the political will it could create the environment for equal opportunities for all, hence the Free Senior High School (SHS) Policy. President Akufo-Addo was speaking at the 60th Anniversary Celebration of Pope John Senior High School and Junior Seminary at Koforidua.
It was on the theme: “Transformational Leadership, 60 Years of Academic Excellence”. President Akufo-Adddo warned that government would sanction any school head who charges unapproved fees and urged the Ministry of Education and managers of schools to come out with innovative ways to monitor what goes on in the schools. He said government had secured funding for the upgrading of facilities in 75 senior high schools and that, this year, it would start with the upgrading of 42 into modern schools. The President said government had also initiated action for the reform of the school curriculum to place more emphasis on mathematics, science and technical education. He gave the assurance that government would continue to rehabilitate and expand educational infrastructure in the country to create access to education.
He urged parents to encourage their children to be disciplined wherever they found themselves. Professor Otoo Ellis, the Former Vice Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), and an old student of the School, who spoke on the theme: “Quality Education for Accelerated Growth and Development,” called on managers in the educational system to place emphasis on discipline. He called for the review of the process for appointing heads of educational institutions to ensure that leaders with the requisite qualities were appointed to deal with current challenges facing the institutions in the country. Prof. Ellis commended the Government for the introduction of the Free SHS Policy and called for it to be nationalised instead of a political party programme so as to enjoy national support.
Mrs Benedicta Kabilba Foli, the Headmistress of the School, appealed to the Government to complete the construction of the dining hall, which was started in 1976. She said when completed, the dining hall would help “end the situation where students had to eat in shifts” and also provide cold storage facilities and modern kitchen to ensure good preservation and prevent food contamination. She commended the Parent Teacher Association and the Old Students of the School for their support in providing infrastructure for their alma mater.