The Second lady, Mrs Samira Bawumia, has said that the free Senior High School (SHS) policy will not only increase access for all but also facilitate efforts towards achieving gender parity in schools.
She said the policy would allow many more underprivileged students access to education and present them with equal opportunities for life while ensuring girls were also given equal educational opportunities.
Mrs Bawumia was speaking at the 57th Speech and Prize Giving day of the Mfantsiman Girls Senior High School, which was sponsored by the 1986 year group.
The Second Lady, who is a past student of the school, said while ensuring equitable access for all, the policy would be aligned with teacher retooling and technologically enhanced methods of learning and assessment practices.
That, she said, would likely culminate in high economic standards and entrepreneurship skills.
Mrs Bawumia said the government would, through the implementation of the policy, ensure high academic standards and entrepreneurship with the girl child in focus.
According to her, this would help generate coherence in the educational system and promote the role of women in our socio-political and economic space.
She said the urgent need for creativity and entrepreneurial development was a clarion call to put the girl child first not only to ensure gender equality but to justify the need for it, adding that the policy would help make gender distribution in schools better.
She advised the students to work harder and be disciplined to achieve their aspirations.
A deputy Minister designate for Education, Mrs Barbara Asher Ayisi, for her part, said the government was determined to ensure that quality was not sacrificed as the policy was rolled out in September 2017.
She said the government would take pragmatic steps to ensure high standards at the SHS level despite the free SHS policy.
Mrs Asher Ayisi said the government was collaborating effectively with various partners in programmes such as the secondary education programme project, expansion of physical infrastructure and free supply of core subject textbooks to ensure the success of the programme.
“No one should be denied secondary education because of funding” saying refusing students access would be a scar on our collective conscience.’’
She urged all government teachers, parents, non-governmental organisations to play their roles in ensuring the success of the policy.
The headmistress of the school, Mrs Leticia Agnes Hudgson, said the school had some abandoned projects and therefore solicited the government’s assistance to complete them.
She also said the school needed a 72-seater bus.
The 1986 year group instituted a GH¢1.3m fund for a library with a seed money of GH¢75,000.
Workers, retirees and students who excelled or had contributed to the growth of the school were awarded.