Diasporian News of Thu, 2 Nov 20173
Free SHS is sustainable - Ambassador Dr. Barfour Agyei-Barwuah
Ghana’s Ambassador to the United States (U.S.) His Excellency (H.E.) Dr. Barfour Agyei-Barwuah has stated that Free SHS policy is sustainable since government is committed to dedicating resources to the programme.
Dr. Barfour Agyei-Barwuah was speaking at the diaspora engagement town hall meeting held in the Harford County Maryland, U.S. by Ghanaians in the area.
“If Free SHS wasn’t sustainable it wouldn’t have been started at all. You have to recognize that we have had free education from birth to university in the Northern part of Ghana all these years and it has been sustainable… I think as a nation we should owe everybody education at least up to the age of 16 to make the person either good enough to continue or good enough to contribute to the national economy. This is because reading and writing is crucial no matter how you look at it” he said
The meeting was also platform for the Ambassador to interact with Ghanaian members of Edgewood, Columbia, and Baltimore communities in Maryland.
In his continued assurance the Ambassador gave his word at the town hall meeting that a lot of measures have been put in place to sustain Free SHS education including income from Ghana’s oil revenues. He called on all in Ghana to meet and respect their tax obligations as their personal contribution to the continued success of that government policy.
A question from a member of audience pointed out the fact that the quest of GUA which is to assist the health and educational sectors of Ghana is sometimes “hindered by things like the cost of clearing goods intended for such purposes obtained through charities and donations, how best can the Ghana Embassy help alleviate some of these hurdles”, asked the audience member.
GUA was assured that anyone sending materials to Ghana from the Harford County of Maryland or anywhere in the US to support both the educational and health sectors of the economy was going to be given the needed assistance by the Embassy. The Ambassador asked that people feel free to personally contact the Embassy or his personal secretary for assistance on that and any issue because Ghanaians are the reason why the embassy exists. More information is available about the Embassy activities at www.ghanaembassydc.org.
The occasion was organized by the Ghana Unity Association (GUA), a non-political, non-tribal, non-governmental and non-religious organization committed to nurturing friendship and collaborate growth between Ghanaians in the Harford County of Maryland.
Ambassador Agyei-Barwuah who was accompanied by delegates from the Ghana Mission in Washington DC used the occasion to assure the community that the Free Senior High School education policy (Free SHS) started by the President Akufo-Addo government in September 2017 is indeed sustainable.
Embassy officials in attendance were Stella Ansah of Trade Department, Akosua Badoo of the Diaspora Desk, Eric Boateng of Political Desk and Akosua Okyere-Badoo who is Minister of Economic and Diaspora affairs. The others are Joseph Ngminebayihi (Head of Consular and Welfare) and Stella Akosua Ansah (Head of Trade & Investment).
Harford County Maryland Association of Ghanaians impressed
Chairman of GUA Mr. Kwaku Duah Ameyaw disclosed to TheAfricanDream.net that the association has in the past donated some books and food items to the Lighthouse Christian Orphanage at Aburi, and the Eye of the Lord Orphanage at Nsawam, both townships are in the Akuapim South District of the Eastern Region of Ghana. They also donated medical supplies including mattresses to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi and look to do more with the promised support of the Embassy from the Ambassador.
Mr. Ameyaw said the event was a great success: “GUA executives are all impressed and so are Ghanaians in other parts of Maryland that were able to attend. We are very grateful to the Ambassador and his staff for making time to sit with us, we hope to work together with them to see Ghana move forward and become the nation we all want it to be.”
Other Executives of GUA include Dr. Wilfred Addo-Asah – Vice Chairman, Douglas Okyere – Secretary, Kwabena Antwi – Treasurer, Anita Frimpong – Financial Secretary, Kwadwo Adade – Organizing Secretary and Franklin Tsiquaye – Porter. The Association was formed in 2004 by Ghanaians living in the Harford County Maryland to promote harmony and unity as well as cater to the needs of Ghanaians within the community.