President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has announced that contracts will soon be awarded to provide 69,500 single desks and 13,100 bunk beds to Senior High Schools across the country.
This move, according to him, is expected to address the furniture deficit in a number of schools as part of his administration’s commitment to dealing with the challenges in the implementation of the Free Senior High School policy.
This comes on the back of reports highlighting challenges associated with the programme and intense criticism from members of the opposition.
Citi News recently reported about a situation at the Parkoso Community Day Senior High School in the Asokore Mampong Municipality of the Ashanti Region, where some students sat on the bare floor due to the lack of desks.
The President said furniture will also be supplied for dining halls, staff common rooms and computer laboratories while marker boards will be provided for the classrooms.
“We have taken that first step in Ghana and we should deal with the challenges. In dealing with them, tenders have already gone out and so contracts will be awarded for the provision of some 69,500 desks and some 13, 100 bunk beds. Additionally, tender documents have been issued for the supply of furniture for dining halls, staff rooms for teachers, computer laboratories and the provision of marker boards for classrooms,” Nana Addo said.
“Free SHS will ensure that all our children will be educated to at least secondary level and money or the lack of it will no longer mean a denial of education. Already, the policy has led to an increase of 90,000 children who have entered senior high school this academic year who would have otherwise dropped out.”
President Akufo-Addo, who was a special guest at the 68th-Anniversary Speech and Prize-Giving Day of Prempeh College in Kumasi, also dismissed the criticism directed at the policy. saying it was here to stay.
“The politically-motivated propagandists and naysayers who in the last few years said free SHS was not possible and could happen after 20 years are now signing a new tune. They are now saying free SHS is not sustainable and will crash in 5 years. Let me burst their bubble again, free SHS is here to stay,” he said.
The President added that Government has secured a 40-million dollar loan from the World Bank under the Secondary Education improvement project to expand and upgrade facilities in 75 Senior High Schools across the country. He said 42 senior high schools will also be upgraded to module school status.
“Under the Secondary Education Improvement Project, government has secured a 40 million US dollar loan from the World Bank for the expansion and upgrading of facilities in 75 Senior High Schools across the country. Construction works of the existing Community Day Senior High Day Schools are ongoing. Government will also upgrade 42 Senior High School into modern school status,” the President added.