Don’t belittle free SHS –GH¢40.00 saved my life in1969 -Osei-Mensah
The Ashanti regional minster, Mr. Simon Osei-Mensah has asked Ghanaians not to belittle the flagship Free Senior High School educational policy that has been introduced by President Nana Addo DankwaAkufo-Addo.
According to him, had it not been for GHC40.00 which is equivalent to $20.00 dollars in 1969 that his late uncle borrowed from someone for him to pursue secondary education, he would not have been able to further his schooling.
According to him, though he is a politician, he is also a realist and will always appreciate the monumental Free SHS policy being implemented by the Akufo-Addo-led administration.
The Ashanti regional minister has, therefore, urged Ghanaian students who are benefitting from the Free SHS to take advantage of the policy and burn the midnight oil so that they becomesuccessful and law abiding citizens of Ghana in future.
“Knowledge is acquired through education and it is the greatest asset anyone can bequeath onto his or her children. This is the only asset that cannot be taken away from you until you decide to share it”, he said.
Sharing his jaw dropping testimony as a young brilliant child but needy student in his youthful days, where he lived with his late grandmother at a village in Jachie in the Bosomtwe district, Osei-Mensah noted: “I passed the common entrance whilst in Middle School form one, but my father passed away in 1969. There was nobody to take me to what we call Secondary School then, which is today known as Senior High School.”
According to him, after passing his entrance exams there was nobody to send him to secondary school because of the poverty in his family.
He continued that his late uncle, KwabenaMarfo,who was a staff of Ghana Railwaysvisited the family and saw him weeping over his inability to further his education, after passing his Common Entrance Examination for the fourth time.
He continued that his uncle went and asked his late grandmother why he was crying and “my grandmother said Ihad passed my exams and if my father was alive, he would help further my education’.
This touched my uncle and he went to borrow GHC 40.00 which was equivalent to US$20.00 dollars to enable me enrol at Jachie-Pramso Senior High School (Mighty JAPASS). Twenty dollars saved my life”.
He made these disclosures at the commissioning of eighteen-unit-two-storey classroom block at the St Louis Senior High School, at Oduom, in the OforikromMunicipality of the Ashanti region.
He revealed that Ashanti region is benefitting from about 75 different educational projects. “What we are witnessing today is not the only project under the leadership of the president that has been constructed or is being constructed in the school”, he said.
After giving complements to President Akufo-Addo, Mr Osei-Mensah also lauded the contractor, Mr. Nicholas Frimpong Boateng, the Chief Executive of Nickseth Company Limited.
The headmistress of St Louis SHS, Mrs AmaKyerewaaBenefo, on her part indicated that Nickseth construction Limited used only seven months to complete the project.
She thanked President Akufo-Addo, Getfund Administration,Ashanti regional minister, Simon Osei-Mensah and Nickseth Construction Ltd for completing the project.
Mrs Benefo stated that the edifice would be used by the seniors and that it will help the school to increase enrolment.
The Kumasi Metropolitan Bishop of the Catholic Church,Archbishop Gabriel Anokye, on behalf of the Catholic Church and school expressed their heartfelt gratitude to the president for doing what Napoleon could not do.
However, he appealed to government to come to the aid of the school by completing an uncompleted classroom block which was initiated by the Parent Teachers Association (PTA) but has come to a standstill.
The catholic prelate mentioned that as a Science school, St Louis has a smaller lab,which affects academic work and, therefore, appealed for help from government.