President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has stated that he was branded a “liar” by his political opponents when he promised Ghanaians free senior high school education ahead of the 2008 and 2016 elections respectively.
According to him, although his government cannot make every Ghanaian rich, it will help create a society of opportunities and empowerment for every citizen.
Nana Akufo-Addo said these at the launch of his government’s flagship programme, Free SHS, at the West Africa Secondary School (WASS) in Accra on Tuesday, 11 September 2017.
The President told the gathering: “When I proposed this policy in 2008, many were those who said Free SHS could not be done. The idea was ridiculed and was described by propagandists as a vote-buying gimmick even though ironically, it did not win me that election.
“I was labelled a liar by my opponents who went on to state that Free SHS could only be possible in 20 years’ time. Nonetheless, the Ghanaian people were discerning and believed it was possible. The culminations of that believe inter alia resulted in the decisive victory won by the New Patriotic Party and myself in the elections of 2016.
“I made the pledge of providing every Ghanaian child with access to senior high school because I know the privilege, the knowledge and talents are not for the rich and privileged alone and that free education widens the gates of opportunities to every child especially those whose talents are arrested because of poverty.
“A government may not be able to make every citizen rich but with political will and responsible leadership, a government can help create a society of opportunities and empowerment for every citizen and I know no better way to do so but through access to education.”
Meanwhile, the Free SHS begun Monday, 11 September 2017 when first year students who were successfully placed in various SHSs were to report.
The placement into SHSs has been fraught with hitches this year, with several thousands of prospective students still struggling to get admission but the Ministry of Education has assured that every Ghanaian child that qualifies will be given the opportunity to enjoy the policy.