President Nana Akufo-Addo has reiterated that about 1.2 million students will enjoy Government’s flagship educational program, the Free Senior High School (SHS) initiative during the next academic year.
The President said this while speaking at the 4th Graduation Ceremony of the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR), in Sunyani, Bono Region.
The policy was introduced in September 2017.
According to the President, from September 2019 which is the commencement of the next academic year, all students from SHS 1 to SHS 3 will benefit from the policy.
He stated emphatically that ,“In all, 1.2 million children will be enrolled in our High Schools across the country under the policy, making it the largest number of students so enrolled in our history.”. He added that “it is, thus, inevitable that, from 2020, when the first batch of free SHS students graduate, our universities and other tertiary institutions will be confronted with the challenge of higher numbers of students seeking admission.”
Mr. Akufo-addo disclosed that Government was undertaking a comprehensive programme of expanding infrastructure at the various tertiary institutions to accommodate the expected higher numbers.
The intervention, according to him, will provide increased opportunities for young people to further their education, pursue their dreams, and, ultimately, contribute their quota to the development of the country.
Earlier in July this year, Minister of Education, Matthew Opoku Prempeh, addressed the media at the Information Ministry, saying “We (Government) projected to increase the Senior High School (SHS) enrolment from 881,600 in 2016 to 1,264,190 by close of 2019.”
The Minister reiterated at the time that Government’s commitment to secondary education remains: “No qualified child is left behind”.
According to him, Free SHS was about equity, access, quality skills development and infrastructure expansion; and so far government has created 43 per cent access to enrollment.