The Headmaster of Jirapa Senior High School, Primus Baro has commended government for restarting 3 out of the 4 stalled projects in the school.
The projects are the 2-storey 12 unit classroom block which was started and abandoned in 2015, a dining hall complex which was abandoned in 2016 at the overhead concrete stage and a 2-storey 12 unit Home Economics Block which was started and abandoned in 2014 at the decking stage.
Mr. Baro was speaking at the celebration of the school’s silver jubilee at Jirapa.
The Jirapa Senior High School was established by the Jirapa Area Youth Development Association JAYDA with support from the government of Ghana in 1994 to compliment the efforts of the St Francis of Assisi Girls School to provide wholesome education for people resident in Jirapa and its environs.
The school begun with 126 students studying Business and Home Economics.
The Jirapa Senior High School now has more than one thousand students studying Business, Home Economics, Visual Arts, General Arts and General Science.
At the climax of the silver jubilee, the Headmaster paid homage to previous heads of the school for their dedication towards ensuring the school is well grounded in academics and discipline.
Mr. Baro took his time to talk about the achievements of the school which include a tremendous improvement in performance at the WASSCE, the establishment of a culture of discipline and good sanitary practices.
“In 2016, in Core Maths, we scored 9.32 percent. In 2017 the figure improved to 26.9 percent. In 2018, it shot up from to 30.77 percent and just last year, it rose dramatically from the 30.77 percent to 74.64 percent. In 2016, the schools average for Integrated Science was 25.51 percent. In 2017, our average rose from the 25.51 percent to 46.55 percent. In 2018, we shot to 69.50 percent. Last year we rose dramatically again the 69.50 percent to 87.14 percent,” Mr. Baro disclosed.
He continued to state that: “In English Language in 2016, we got only 11.55 percent. In 2017, we rose to 45.87 percent and unfortunately dropped in 2018 to 40.24 but in 2019 we moved to 65.50 percent. For Social Studies, in 2016 we recorded 41.41 percent. We shot up to 81 percent in 2017, went up again to 83 percent in 2018 and again to 96.36 percent just this academic year”.
Mr. Baro was full of smiles when he mentioned that construction of a new boys dormitory block had begun under government’s emergency school infrastructure projects.
He said upon completion, it would remove the burden of boys who have to trek 2 kilometres from the old campus to the school’s new site for classes and meals each day.
Mr. Baro commended the Jirapa Municipal Assembly for handing over a 5 unit toilet facility to the school. He appealed to the Assembly that the construction of another toilet facility under the Special Development Intiative to be completed quickly. Despite the successes, the school still has a number of challenges.
“The School is currently in hold of a Z-registrated Eicher bus which is currently off road and a seven-year old Mahindra pickup. The cost of maintenance on this vehicle is extremely high,” he disclosed. Mr Baro added that of the more than 100 staff of the school, “only 6 are housed on the school premises”.
The Headmaster of the Jirapa Senior High School used the opportunity to remind the Jirapa Municipal of 2 outstanding issues. They included the tarring of school roads and the re-roofing of a classroom block with a ripped off roof.
Although Mr. Baro commended government for the Free Senior High School, he mentioned that because the students do not pay fees, the school does not have funds to now engage in major rehabilitation works on the school premises. He mentioned that all monies that are received now by the school “is basically for perishable foods and administrative expenditure”. He urged government to take a look at the situation and remedy the situation.
The MCE for Jirapa, Christine Bombanye Amadu who stood in for the Upper West Regional Minister Dr. Hafiz Bin Salih said government’s commitment in improving education at all levels is unwavering.
He said this is evident in the implementation of the Free SHS, the continuation of stalled projects in senior high schools to accommodate the rising numbers. Madam Bombanye Amadu called on parents to continue to play their part in ensuring that children perform better.
The MP for Jirapa, Dr. Eric Dakurah Bawaana said the education of Ghanaians must go beyond partisan politics. He commended the efforts of the headmaster in transforming the face of the school. He donated five thousand Ghana-cedis to help the school to address some of their challenges.
Story filed by Mark Smith