Story: Samuel Duodu, Kenyase No. 2
The first Lady, Mrs Theresa Kufuor, has bemoaned the drop-out rate among girls at the senior high school (SHS) level, in spite of the interventions introduced by the government to ensure that the gender gap in education is bridged.
She has, therefore, appealed to parents to be more responsive towards the education of their female children to the highest level.
Mrs Kufuor’s concern was contained in a speech read on her behalf by her aide, Ms Lydia Osei, at the maiden Speech and Prize-giving Day of the OLA Girls’ Senior High School at Kenyasi No.2 in the Asutifi District in the Brong Ahafo Region at the weekend.
It was on the theme, “Girl Child Education — The Role of the State, Society and Parents”.
The OLA Girls’ Senior High School was founded by the Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Apostles (OLA Sisters), in collaboration with the late Catholic Bishop of Sunyani, the Most Rev James Kwadwo Owusu, and the then Omanhene of the Kenyasi No.2 Traditional Area, Nana Nsiah Ababio, in 1974. It was the first all-female high school to be established in the Brong Ahafo Region.
The First Lady noted that the introduction of the Capitation Grant and the School Feeding Programme by the government had increased enrolment and helped to bridge the gender gap between girls and boys in basic schools in the country.
She noted that more girls were in basic school now than in the past, since parents did not need to pay school fees at the basic level.
Mrs Kufuor was, however, not happy with the situation of girls in SHS and said the necessary support and encouragement must be given to them to continue to the highest levels of education.
She observed that although it was the constitutional responsibility of the state to make education accessible and affordable to all children, the collective effort of all, right from the community to the national levels, was required, stressing that the education of girls was the collective responsibility of all stakeholders.
The First Lady also noted that the government, in its bid to remove the phobia associated with the study of Science and Mathematics at the SHS level by girls, had decentralised the Science and Mathematics Education clinics to the regions and districts.
The Deputy Minister of Education, Science and Sports, Mrs Angelina Baiden-Amissah, gave the assurance that the government would continue to fulfil its constitutional mandate in the educational sector by pursuing sound policies and programmes to enable females to excel.
She said many teachers handling Mathematics, Science and technical subjects were all men who, because of their stereotyped expectations, discouraged girls from enrolling in Mathematics and Science-based careers.
The headmistress of the school, Rev Sister Martha Davis, in her address, said the school had made a name across the country through the moral training of its students.
Students who had distinguished themselves academically were presented with awards, while both teaching and non-teaching staff members of the school were also honoured for their meritorious services to the school.