The Deputy Minister of Education has stated that the implementation of the Free SHS policy by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has helped in the overall enrolment of girls in Senior High School.

He made this statement at the Political Parties Debate held by the University for Development Studies (UDS) in partnership with NORSAAC and Oxfam on Education Policy in Ghana on Wednesday, November 25, 2020.

Responding to a question by host Samson Lardy Anyenini on how the NPP seeks to ensure that the poorest girls in the most marginalized regions are able to enrol, be retained and complete their course of education, the Deputy Minister indicated that the percentage of gross enrolment in Senior High Schools has risen remarkably in the last 4 years.

He attributed this increase to the cost barrier that has been removed in Senior High School education.

“If you look at the gross enrolment ratio of girls in Senior High Schools, in 2015/16 it was 48.9%. 2018/19 it rose to 60.8%. So when you remove the cost barrier, parents are not being forced to choose between a boy and a girl. And therefore you begin to see that girls get the opportunity to go to school. So free SHS is doing some magic when it comes to girls’ enrolment at the secondary level.”

In addition to that, he revealed that the $200 million Ghana Accountability for Learning Outcome Programme (GALOP) focuses on reintegrating school dropouts back into the educational system.

“Anything that you do, you have to focus on making sure that the children who are on the streets are reintegrated into our schools.

“If you look at what we are doing with the Ghana Accountability for Learning Outcome Programme, over $200 million project sponsored by the World Bank, we have a component that focuses on how you get the children on the street, especially girls back in school.”

“This government has through various strategies done a good job of bringing the children on the street back to school.”

He added that the progress chalked by the Akufo-Addo-led administration is remarkable within this short period.

“…48.9% has moved to 60.8% in 3 years. That is great progress. You don’t see this in many parts of the world. You don’t accomplish this within that short period of time. So we are making progress as a nation,” he concluded,