The Dean of the Medical School of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Professor Yaw Edu Sarkodie, has advocated the need for educational institutions in the country to establish partnership with small scale industries to train students in vocational and technical skills.
This, according to him, would enable students, who are not academically inclined, to learn meaningful skills that would make them useful and productive in order to contribute their quota towards national development.
Professor Sarkodie, an alumnus of Fijai Senior High School, gave the advice when delivering a keynote address at a durbar to climax the 60th Anniversary of the school on Saturday.
He observed that countries such as Malaysia and Singapore that took the middle manpower training of their peoples seriously in areas of vocational and technical skills had catapulted their economies and called on educational institutions in the country to learn a cue from them.
The Diamond Jubilee Celebration, which was under the theme: “60 years of Co-Education – The Vision and Mission of the Founding Fathers” attracted high profile personalities, old students, traditional rulers and government functionaries to the school premises.
Prof. Sarkodie, a fellow of the West African College of Physicians, appealed to the governments to refrain from playing politics with the duration of the Senior High School.
He said the four-year and three-year experimentation of the duration of the secondary education by successive governments would not help the cause of development of this country and called on authorities concerned to take concrete steps to stop such politics in the education sector.
The Dean of the Medical School of the KNUST admonished the youth to show resilience, dedication, discipline and fear of God in all their endeavours, adding that success could not be achieved on a silver platter but hard work.
The Director General of the Ghana Education Service, Madam Benedicta Naana Biney, said the school started in 1952 from a humble beginning, but by dint of hardwork had blossom with many academic and sports laurels over the years.
She noted that in spite of its limited facilities at the beginning it had produced excellent and successful professionals, who are doing extremely well in the areas of education, banking, engineering, journalism, medicine, law, among others.
Madam Biney commended the founding fathers of the school for fetching such a laudable idea of establishing a school that provided equal opportunities for both boys and girls.
The co-education vision of the founding fathers provided equal access to education for both sexes that helped to spread literacy at that period when many second cycle schools were single stream institutions, she observed.
“That co-education idea provided academic competition between boys and girls, as well as harmony, interpersonal relationships whereby both sexes became conscious of their dressing and character“, she added.
The Headmaster, Mr. Joe Ocloo Nyamadi, said the school still remains a co-educational institution but the proportions have changed drastically with a ratio of 2:1 in favour of girls.
He indicated that the school, which started 60 years ago with only 30 boys and eight girls, now had a population of 1,727 students comprising 1, 200 girls and 527 boys.
Mr. Nyamadi, therefore, appealed to all alumni of the school and other stakeholders to contribute their widow’s mites towards the expansion of the school facilities.
The headmaster mentioned some pressing needs of the schools such as the need for a new dormitory for the boys, rehabilitation of the existing dormitory block, a state-of-the-art ICT laboratory, more suitable sickbay, bigger dining hall, as well as a fence wall to avoid future encroachment on the school lands.
The, however, acknowledged the contribution of the government through the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETfund) and the internally generated funds for providing a new girls’ dormitory, which is nearing completion, a seven-unit classroom block and an assembly hall.
He also commended the Fijai Old Students’ Association (FOSA) and other old student groups for their tremendous assistance in renovating the new staff room, replacement of boys’ dormitory and redecoration of the existing girls’ dormitory.
The management and board of the school used the occasion to read and present citations to three former headmasters as well as a pioneer of the school for their meritorious contributions towards the development of the school.
The school presented prizes to deserving students, who excelled in last academic year, and hardworking staff of the school for their continuous service to the school.GNA