The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is delighted to have proven his critics wrong as he launches one of the nation’s ambitious and audacious programmes – the Free SHS Policy.The policy sought to provide absolutely free secondary education to every Ghanaian child going to senior high school.
Starting with about 400,000 first year students who participated in this year’s Basic Education Certificate Examination and qualified for placement in the over 600 public senior high schools, an estimated amount of 484 million cedis has been budgeted by the government for the policy.
The government’s flagship programme was launched on Tuesday at the West Africa Secondary School (WASS) in Accra by President Akufo-Addo himself, backed by his Vice, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, Minister of Education and several other high profile state officials and stakeholders. President Akufo-Addo recalled how he was taunted by his political opponents who did all they could to discredit the Free SHS vision.
“I was labelled a liar by my opponents who said Free SHS would only be possible in 20 years,” the president recalled. He was grateful to millions of Ghanaians who bought into his vision and voted massively to entrust the administration of the country into his care.
“I made the pledge of providing every Ghanaian child access to secondary school,” he recounted his resolve that education should not be a privilege for a few.
President Akufo-Addo acknowledged “I can’t make every citizen rich”, but said a responsible leader, can among others provide an opportunity to empower all through access to education. He stated as a matter of fact that most countries who have made it put education at the centre of their development.
Though he saw the paying of school fess for the huge number of students as a daunting task with regards to the country’s “meagre resources”, such experiment paid off for countries such as America and Japan, he observed, churning out workforce fit for rapid economic development. “Ghana under my leadership is determined to follow suit,” he promised.