General News Wed, 20 Sep 2017
President Nana Akufo-Addo has highlighted his government’s implementation of the Free Senior High school policy as an indicator that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can be measured and realized by 2030.Target four of the SDGs challenges governments to ensure that all girls and boys have access to free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education, leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes.
Speaking at the 2017 Bloomberg Global Business Forum in New York, President Akufo-Addo said education is the most important of the SDGs with the potential to greatly improve Africa’s fortunes.
“If we can, and it is eminently feasible, be in a situation whereby in 2030, we can say that all of Africa’s children are in school and having access to good quality education, the impact of that on the development of the continent and on the quality of life of the people will be enormous.”
He noted that the ripple effect the free SHS policy will have on society saying, “the free SHS policy has relieved the burdens of parents who had to spend lots of money to send their children to school, now that is over as government is paying for their fees and other things.”
“As a Co-Chair of the UN SDG Advocacy Group, education is important to me that is why I have introduced the policy.’’
The President added that “every year, 100,000 Ghana youth drop out of the education system between Junior High School and Senior High School because their parents could not afford the payment of their school fees.’’
President Akufo-Addo, who will address world leaders tomorrow [Thursday] at the UN General Assembly, was optimistic of Ghana’s future with the introduction of the policy.
“This year alone, with the instruction of the policy, the dropout rate has reduced from 100,000 to 36,000, and if it continues this way, we will get to our destination,’’ he said.
“So we are talking about taking these goals to a level that will enable all of us; society, government, state and non-state actors, to be able to measure the impact of the goals and their sustainability and realization,” the President added.