The President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has recalled that his free SHS idea was ridiculed by his political opponents.
According to him, his opponents described as a vote-buying gimmick saying he was labelled as a liar for prophesising the idea during the 2012 and 2016 general elections.
He stated that he didn’t give up on his dream of seeing the policy come true.
Speaking during the launch of the free SHS on Tuesday at the West African Senior High School in Accra, he said, ‘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 labeled 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’.
According to him, he made the pledge of providing every Ghanaian child access to Senior High School, saying he knew that knowledge and talent are not for the rich and privileged alone.
‘The culmination of that belief, inter alia, resulted in the decisive victory won by the New Patriotic Party and my modest self in the elections of 2016. I made the pledge of providing every Ghanaian child with access to senior high school, because I know that knowledge and talent 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,’ he stated.
The President indicated that any country that aims to transform itself into a modern productive player in the global marketplace must get its educational policies right.
‘Our economy, for over a century, has been dependent largely on the production and export of raw materials.
‘This cannot, and will not create prosperity for the masses of Ghanaians. We must move from being a natural resource producer to a value-added producer, adding value to our natural resources, and, thereby, reaping higher benefits from them,’ he said.
The President commended the Minister for Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Member of Parliament (MP) for Manhyia South constituency, for ensuring the realisation of the policy.
‘A grateful nation will acknowledge them. To the Minister for Education, Hon. Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Member of Parliament for Manhyia South, who has provided such dynamic leadership for the realisation of this all-important initiative, I say a big Ayekoo,’ he commended.