Deputy Minister of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs who doubles as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Jomoro Constituency in the Western Region, Paul Essien has said implementation of the Free SHS education program has brought financial relief to parents.Describing the policy as meritorious, Mr. Essien said living standard of Ghanaians, especially parents whose wards are enjoying the Free SHS has greatly improved over the few weeks.
The MP made these comments when he donated 22,000 free exercise books to Senior High and Junior High Schools in the Jomoro District last week end.
He commended President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for the smooth implementation of the controversial Free SHS policy which was NPP’s flagship campaign promise.
According to the Deputy Minister, the Free SHS program is a 'Happy Home' program for parents in Ghana and must be embraced by all Ghanaians.
He explained that, "a mother selling rice to take care of a child to go to SHS so when the school vacates and the child comes home, the mother tries to sell rice and make sure she gathers enough money to go and pay school fees but this time around whatever business your mother or father is doing, any money he or she gathers will not be used to pay school frees again but will channel it into a different venture, therefore the free aspect is bringing hopes at various households".
He revealed that he had instituted the 'Best Teacher's Award' for Senior High Schools in the District as a way of motivating teachers to do their best to ensure quality education in the District, urging teachers to take their work seriously and desist from absenteeism.
Mr. Essien cautioned the students to take their studies serious and tasked them to desist from indulging in acts which would be inimical to their studies.
He also urged them to pray for good health for the President so that he can lead the country into prosperity.
"I am a Prophet and before NPP government will leave power, education at the tertiary level will be free for all Ghanaians because it is only the NPP that can make education free in this country, so I you and your parents should should continue to have confidence in the NPP government and retain the NPP in power and see 'free' tertiary education program", he predicted.
The Headmaster of Annor Adjaye SHS, Mr. Cobbina Amoah, who received the exercise books, thanked Hon Paul Essien for the his kindness and expressed the hope that the students would find the books useful.
On behalf of the first year students, Lydia Baidoo, a General Arts 2 student thanked President Nana Addo for the implementation of the Free SHS education program which has benefited a lot of Ghanaian students who might stay at home due to financial constraints.
She also thanked the MP for given them free exercise books, "we thank Hon Paul Essien for the kind gesture else some of us, our parents can't buy us exercise books".
She promised the MP that they will take their studies seriously and lift the face of the school higher.