By Alexander Nyarko Yeboah, GNA
Aburi, July 19, GNA - The Forum of Heads of Girl's Senior High Schools (FOHGSHS) has held a summer camp to unlock the potentials of girls to take their rightful place in society even in the face of modern complex challenges.
The forum, which is on the theme, “The Free Senior High School Policy and the Education of the Girl Child,” was also to encourage the girls to take advantage of educational opportunities offered by the government to develop themselves to secure a good future.
In a key note address on Tuesday at the Aburi Girl’s Secondary School, the Deputy Minister of Education in charge of Basic and Secondary Education, said “the vision of the Government of Ghana is to create an equal playing field for everyone, whether you are rich or poor; once we are able to do that, then we are living according to the motor of our nation which is freedom and justice.”
Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum said there would be no freedom and justice when the poor could not go to school whilst the rich did.
“You don’t create an equitable society that way. There will be equity when everybody can participate in education irrespective of one’s personal circumstances or that of one’s parents, and that basically underscores the need for the free senior high school policy, ”he said.
Dr. Adutwum observed that the free SHS policy was not an end in itself, but a vehicle for major transformation of Ghana, insisting that “if you don’t have majority of your people educated, there is no way you can transform yourself in this 21st Century knowledge economy.”
The Deputy Minister indicated that President Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo was also being true to his promise of eliminating the double track system in five to seven years.
“We are building schools everywhere to make sure the second year double track was eliminated so that it would be only for form one, then if we are able to circle back and build more facilities in form one, then we would eliminate double track altogether, ”according to him.
The Minister of Gender and Social Protection, Madam Cynthia Morrison, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) after the programme, said his outfit wanted to see a gender friendly relationship between males and females in Ghana.
Madam Morrison underscored the need for both genders to work together for the development of the nation, “But when the men see women rising up they feel we want to take their place, but we can never take the place of men. We want to cooperate and work together.”
In appreciating the work of FOHGSHS, the Gender Minister wished that boy’s schools would also come up with their own forum so that the two organizations could have joint fora to educate themselves.
She observed that many thought the place of the woman was in the kitchen therefore when parents had challenges in educating their children, they let the boys go to school and the girls stayed behind, “But now there is free education so no lady would be left behind.”
She indicated that the training of girls must be done alongside that of the boys so that Ghana could have holistic families because both genders would learn best practices in keeping the home and family together.
The President of FOHGSHS, Madam Sylvia Isabella Benlaryea, said that the Forum was meant to encourage the girls to “create their own future by taking advantage of opportunities meant to develop them as responsible citizens”.
Madam Benlaryea informed that 42 Girl's Senior High Schools which were represented by ten students each, from all the sixteen regions attended the camp.
“The camp brought together 420 girls who would discuss best practices, share their success stories, identify challenges and deliberate the way forward,” she informed.
FOHGSHS was established on 14th July, 2007 with 26 Heads of Girl’s schools out of concern for peculiar problem pertaining to girl’s SHS education in Ghana.
Every July, FOHGSHS organizes Summer Camps in one of the Girl’s schools to address issues pertaining to the girl child’s education.
Some of the themes addressed included morality and the training of the girl child, the cyber menace, empowering girls in pursuit of academic excellence, moral uprightness and healthy living.