Dean of Arts and Sciences at Ashesi University and former GIMPA rector, Prof. Stephen Adei, has described a move by the erstwhile Mahama government to put up some 200 community day senior high schools as a useless one adding that the only beneficiaries of the vision were the contractors who put up the said facilities and not Ghanaians.
According to the educationist, it was a wrong move by the then government to situate most of these secondary schools in the hinterlands particularly since there were no hostel or boarding facilities available to students and teachers. His argument suggests that it would be difficult for any of those schools in such obscure locations in rural Ghana to attract the needed numbers [1,500] to fully make use of the facilities.
Prof. Adei was however quick to add that the citing of one of the schools at Kwabenya was a good move since it had been strategically put in an area where several people could benefit.
“They are only useful for urban areas. All that they have put in the villages are going to be useless…they are useless. To transport 1,500 people within, you have to go about 30 km in order to fill them without any boarding, without any teachers’ bungalows, nothing? How can you do so?” he queried as he spoke to GhanaWeb editor, Kwabena Kyenkyenhene Boateng.
He added, “…large communities can have day secondary schools, big ones. The villages need smaller boarding or even day [schools] serving about only 10 Junior High Schools so it was a model gone wrong…The only people who benefitted from it are the contractors, not Ghana’s education.”
John Dramani Mahama in 2016 had justified the need for the Community Day Senior High Schools saying it was going to help create room for over 184,000 students to get access to quality education once the project was completed.
He said at the inauguration of one such school in the Brong Ahafo region that government was keen on expanding the existing educational facilities in order to make room for many more students.
“I’ve been asked by many people why we have built such huge edifices to house secondary schools. Each of these schools has a capacity to take 1,500 students. Currently, as I speak with these e-blocks we are building 123 of them that should give you the scope of the size of the intervention that we are doing into secondary education. This probably will go on record as the single largest expansion of access to secondary education in the history of Ghana,” he said at the inauguration of the seventh Community Day Senior High School at Abease in the Pru District of Brong-Ahafo.
Prof. Adei however says that though he supports the idea of community schools, the model adopted by the John Mahama administration was not the appropriate one describing it as “a model gone wrong.”