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Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Better spending on free SHS than ‘chopping’ it – Akufo-Addo


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President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said he will continue to channel most of Ghana’s resources into the education of Ghanaian children since education forms the bedrock of development.

Addressed the staff and students of the Bolgatanga Senior High School in the Upper West Region, as part of his 2-day working visit to that area, Mr Akufo-Addo said: “We cannot develop a country unless we develop its human capital.

“The central role of education in our national development can never be overemphasised. It is the key to the future of our country and I have no hesitation in making it the central pillar of my government and administration.

“People are saying I am spending a lot of money on education and I am saying to them that it is better that we spend the money on the future of Ghana.”

Regarding the implementation of the free Senior High School (SHS) programme, the president said: “I know that there are people in this country who don’t want this policy, who have been campaigning against this policy. They are dreaming that they are going to come back to power to cancel the policy.”

He continued: “I want them to know that they are not coming back to power, and the Free Senior High School policy has come to stay. They still haven’t woken up from their dreams; they dreamt in 2016 that they were on course for victory. They did not know that the Ghanaian people were no longer interested in entrusting them with power. They still haven’t woken up from their dreams”.

To the critics of the policy, Nana Akufo-Addo stated that the most effective answer would be for SHS 3 students, who would be sitting for next year’s WASSCE, to put up a stellar performance in their examination.

“I am confident that the results of those exams, next year, are going to show that this policy is a good policy for our development. The policy is in your hands and you can demonstrate the quality of the education that you have received by the quality of the results of next year’s exams. I have confidence that the result will be positive and everyone will say, ‘Yes, it was a good idea to go down this road. Our young men and women are benefiting, and this is the way to go for progress and development,” Nana Akufo-Addo added

Addressing the concerns of the school, the President indicated that within the next two weeks, the award of the contract for a new dormitory block and a new classroom will be awarded.

“Some of the things that you want to have done are going to be the responsibility of the Minister for Education, and that is why he came down today. The bus is the concern of Mr President and that is my personal commitment. Big Boss, very soon, you will get a new bus,” the President said, to rapturous applause from the students.

With students from SHS 1 to SHS 3 all going to be beneficiaries of the Free Senior High School policy across Ghana, the President indicated that, for the first time in the nation’s history, over 1.2 million students will be enrolled in Free Senior High school education in Ghana.

“These figures have never ever been attained in the history of our country. The Minister for Education has said that enrolment in our senior high schools has gone up by 50% since the policy was introduced and this policy has come to stay,” he added.

On why he is spending a lot of resources on education, Nana Akufo-Addo explained that “it is better that we spend the money on the future of Ghana, rather than just consuming it and ‘chopping’ the money amongst ourselves. Before I became President, in my campaign I said that I was prepared to use the oil money to educate our children and not to allow it to go into the pockets of politicians and civil servants, and that is exactly what I am doing.”


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