President John Dramani Mahama has stated that all the 200 community day Senior High Schools (SHS) he promised the country in the 2012 electioneering will be completed in his second term.
Inaugurating the Abodoman Community Day SHS at Agona Abodom in the Agona West Municipality in the Central Region yesterday, he said, "In my next term of office, God willing, we will complete all the 200 Community Day SHSs we promised."
In the run-up to the 2012 elections, the President promised that 200 community day SHSs would be built in under-served communities if he was elected and so far, 123 of the schools had been awarded on contract.
The Abodoman SHS is the 10th of the President's flagship educational project to be inaugurated. The school has 25 classrooms, five science laboratories, offices, a computer laboratory, an assembly hall and other ancillary facilities.
The well-attended ceremony preceded activities for the President's five-day campaign tour of the Central Region.
President Mahama indicated that out of the estimated 378,160 children of SHS age, the 93 public schools that existed in the Central Region before the coming of the community day SHSs could admit only 111,600.
"This is why these community SHSs are very important," he said.
He said he had asked the Ghana Education Service (GES) not to wait for him to inaugurate the schools before enrolling students.
President Mahama unveiling a plaque to inaugurate the Abodoman SHS. Those with him include Okofo Okatakyie Nyarko Eku X (2nd right) and Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyeman, the Education Minister
Once the projects were completed, he said enrolment of students should start while awaiting official inauguration.
In the Central Region, the President said eight out of the 14 community day schools awarded on contract had been completed, with the remainder at various stages of completion.
He said in the next few weeks, he would inaugurate the progressively free SHS programme.
It will cover 120,000 boarding students and that will bring SHS students, including day students, who are benefitting from the programme to about 500,000.
"We shall continue to work for the people so that all children get the opportunity to access quality education," the President said.
He stated proverbially: "You cannot promise a fruit when you have not planted a tree."
Explaining, he said it would be difficult to provide children quality education without access to infrastructure, adding that that was why the government would continue to invest in educational infrastructure.
On behalf of the government, President Mahama presented the Abodoman SHS with a brand new 66-seater bus and a pick-up vehicle.
The Paramount Chief of the Agona Nyakrom Traditional Area, Okofo Okatakyie Nyarko Eku X, in a welcome address, commended the President for keeping to his promise to give the community a school.
He said the area had also benefitted from many projects and added that President Mahama needed to be supported to continue with his good work.