1,190 vehicles, 962 buildings for free SHS – President Akufo-Addo

1,190 vehicles, 962 buildings for free SHS – President Akufo-Addo
Source: Ghana| Myjoyonline.com
Date: 01-12-2019 Time: 10:12:45:am

President Nana Akufo-Addo says his government is confronting the inherent challenges that have been associated with the implementation of the Free Senior High School (SHS) policy.
 
With some 1.2 million children currently enrolled in Senior High Schools, the highest of such enrolment in the country’s history, President Akufo-Addo stated that sufficient provision has been made in the 2020 budget for the continued construction of facilities
 
Speaking at the 70th-anniversary celebration of Prempeh College in Kumasi, on Saturday, November 30, the President indicated that Government, this year, commenced the construction of 962 structures, comprising classrooms, dining halls, assembly halls, sanitary facilities, and dormitories, in senior high schools across the country.
 
“We are also providing a total of 1,190 vehicles, made up of 350 buses and 840 pickups to schools in various areas in the country,” he added.

Prempeh College 70th anniversary
President Akufo-Addo with Education Minister Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh
 
President Akufo-Addo assured the Ghanaian people of his Government’s determination to address head-on the problems that arise from the implementation of the policy.
 
Explaining the rationale for the implementation of the Free SHS policy, the President stated that he came into office at a time when, between 2013 and 2016, there was the unfortunate situation in Ghana where, on the average, 100,000 children, every year, who passed the B.E.C.E., could not take up their places in Senior High Schools.

He explained this was because they (the children) could not afford the fees even though they had the qualifications.

Prempeh College 70th anniversary
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II with President Akufo-Addo
 
“If this situation had persisted for a decade, one million children would have dropped out of school at the level of Junior High School, an unacceptable outcome for any nation in the 21st century,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo continued, “it would have been too dangerous for Ghana’s stability, as we would have been building a future of hopelessness for our youth. Such a situation was intolerable, and my party and I were determined to end it. That is why the Free Senior High School policy was introduced.”

Prempeh College 70th anniversary
 
The President noted that the countries that have made rapid progress around the world put education at the heart of their development.
 
He recounted how, in the late 19th century, the United States of America began to transition to publicly funded high school education, describing it as a daunting prospect at the time.
 
The experiment for paying for the education of so many children, for such an extended period of time out of limited public resources, transferring a potential workforce away from immediate productivity for investment in schooling, paid off.

Prempeh College 70th anniversary
Former President Kufuor and President Akufo-Addo

“America set herself up for 20th-century success, creating a labour force fit for rapid economic development, which has inspired the emergence of the most powerful economy so far known to human history,” President Akufo-Addo added.
 
His government, he stressed, is determined to follow suit, and this has resulted in some 1.2 million children currently enrolled in Senior High Schools in Ghana, the highest such enrolment in our history.

Prempeh College 70th anniversary
 
“This means that, over the last three years, 400,000 more students, as compared to 2016, have had the opportunity of gaining access into our senior high schools. We intend to make sure that no child is denied the opportunity of senior high school education by reason of poverty,” the President added.

Prempeh College 70th anniversary

Prempeh College 70th anniversary
Former President Kufuor and (Asantehene) Otumfuo Osei Tutu II were both present at the anniversary celebrations

Prempeh College 70th anniversary
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II

Prempeh College 70th anniversary

Prempeh College 70th anniversary
Former President Kufuor