President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Tuesday gave the assurance that government will increase enrollment of students onto the Free Senior High School (SHS) policy to enable every student benefit at all three levels of SHS education across the country.
“From September this year, all students of the three classes of Senior High Schools across Ghana are going to be beneficiaries of the Free Senior High School policy across and it will mean that for the first time in our history over one million, in fact 1.2 million plus students will be enrolled in Senior High School education in Ghana”.
The President said this when he addressed teachers and students of the Bolgatanga Senior High School (BIGBOSS) as part of his two-day tour of the Upper East Region.
He said education was key to the future of the country, “I have no hesitation in making it the central pillar of my government’s administration. It is better that we spend the money on the future of Ghana than just consuming it”.
“Before I became President, in my campaign, I said I was prepared to use the oil money to educate our children and not to allow it go into the pockets of politicians and civil servants, and that is exactly what I am doing,” he added.
He reiterated government’s commitment to ensure that the Free SHS policy was maintained to serve its intended purpose of ensuring that every child gained access to quality basic education in the country.
He was confident that results of the fore-beneficiaries of the policy in the West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) would indicate that the Free SHS policy was good for the development of the country.
Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, the Minister of Education, said the challenges of the policy were not unknown to government and adequate preparations had been made to meet the huge cost of the programme.
Dr Prempeh said owing to the worst performance of students in mathematics, over the years, in the WASSCE examination, mathematics revision books and other core textbooks including supplementary readers were supplied to every student to help enhance learning and performance.
“Very soon this year, we are supplying questions and answers as model questions and answers and chief examiner’s report to every student in the country, so that whether there is a teacher or not, there would be no excuse for the students not to revise and become familiar with the questions that had been asked since 1993 when we started Senior High School”.
Giving a brief history of the School, Mr Afalibiek Ababu, Headmaster of BIGBOSS, said the school was established in 1917 at Zuarungu in the Bolgatanga East District, but was relocated to its present site at Winkogo in 1975.
He said the school in spite of its numerous challenges, had over the years chalked successes in academic and sports both at regional and national levels. “Your Excellency, the school is the regional model school for the Upper East Region.”
Mr Afalibiek, who is the Vice President of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), commended President Akufo-Addo for the implementation of the Free SHS and other social interventions in the education sector, which were geared towards the development of the human capital of the country.