Free Senior High School Policy officially launched with government’s full commitment to ensure its sustainability to become one of Ghana’s legacy
The President Nana Akufo Addo pledged full commitment to ensure that the implementation of the free senior high school policy does not compromise on quality.
He showed willingness to welcome ideas that will improve the programme adding that the policy is open to criticism.
The President who was speaking at the official inauguration of the free Senior High School policy at the West Africa Secondary School in Accra this morning said his government will collaborate with all stakeholders including countries that offer donor support to ensure equitable access especially for students from deprived communities.
The brief but colourful event was witnessed by Vice President, Dr Mahamadu Bawumia, Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Marfo, Ministers of state, stakeholders in the Education sector, and students from selected schools.
President Akufo Addo, who sounded optimistic, acknowledged the implementation will tough but it will create a fair opportunity to the youth to aspire for higher heights.
“As is with all human endeavour we are likely to face challenges in the implementation of the policy of free SHS despite our preparation and effort. We may falter but by the grace of the Almighty God we shall not fall. We will be ready in all humility to accept aids and criticisms aimed at improving the policy. The policy is not about NPP or NDC, this is about Ghana and how best to build a progressive and prosperous nation. Government has also reserved 30 per cent of places in the top 82 senior high schools to students from basic public schools. Currently, these top schools are almost wholly populated with students from private junior high schools with good performance at the BECE grades relevant to the basic public schools. Under the Free SHS policy, we will ensure the students from basic public school have equal opportunity to enrol in any of the top high senior high schools in the country. We believe this is crucial in ensuring that we do not inadvertently encourage a permanent class divide where a child from a background whose parents are unable to afford private junior high school education is predestined to be excluded from the top senior high school in the country. That is potentially dangerous for human cohesion”, he said.
The President advised beneficiaries to remain focused, in spite of the negative comments by pessimists, to ensure they derive the best from the free package from government.
“To our freshers who are about to start a new chapter in your education, you have every reason to proud of yourself, study and work hard and avoid all negative tendencies. I wish to thank all those who have worked so hard this year to ensure that this policy sees the light of day.”