Free SHS is very vital for the country - Pius Hadzide
The Free Senior High School (Free-SHS) programme initiated in 2017 by government has been touted as the country's most vital national policies ever.
It is said to have touched all in the society, having created access to second cycle education for all, eliminating the class element of haves and have nots from that segment of education.
Mr Pius Hadzide, Deputy Minister of Information, said this at the 25th-anniversary durbar of Anlo-Afiadenyigba Senior High School (AFIASEC) at Anlo-Afiadenyigba in the Keta Municipality of the Volta Region.
"We are happy we started this policy, removing all fee payments, which hindered many from fulfilling their dream of secondary education and this is the best method of sharing our national cake", he said.
Education, he said, is the pillar of a nation's development adding Japan for example, despite lacking the many natural resources, basically thrives on its strong educational foundation.
Mr Hadzide appealed to all stakeholders - institutions, school managements, teachers, communities, parents, alumni and students to play their specific roles to support the policy.
He commended the founders for their foresight in establishing AFIASEC as well as the Board, management, staff, alumni, the community, parents and students for committing themselves to the growth and success of school.
The Deputy Minister of Information urged all to invest in the school and promised to be the school's ambassador in defending its interests.
Dr Wilberforce Dzisah, a former Rector, Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ), on the anniversary theme: "Education, Key to Human Development and Nation Building", said education remains the pathway to any nation-building enterprise.
He said it is through education and knowledge acquisition that leaders are produced in academia, science, technology, industry, sports, politics and public administration, and above all successful and committed citizens to build a strong nation.
Mr Richard Quarshigah, Member of Parliament for Keta, lauded the Free SHS program and urged government to tackle the related myriad of challenges facing schools to help prevent academic standards from falling.
Mr Prince Abotsi, Headmaster, said the school established with 11 students including four girls and six tutors in 1993; now has a population of 1,031 students including 558 girls with staff population of 79.
He said the lack of school blocks, dormitories, dining hall, kitchen, classroom furniture, fence wall and the refusal of squatters to vacate school lands amongst others are some of the challenges being encountered by the school.
Mr Abotsi also called for completion of the stalled dormitory, a 12 unit classroom project and the construction of an administration block, a dinning hall, a library and an ICT laboratory.