Following recent concerns about the financial viability and infrastructural challenges facing the free education policy, Government has restated that it remains resolute and confident in working to sustain it.
Mrs Barbra Ayisi, Deputy Minister of Education, who gave the assurance, said the programme was geared towards relieving the huge financial burden on parents whilst providing free and accessible quality education to every eligible Ghanaian.
She gave the reassurance that on no grounds would any eligible student be discriminated against whilst government continued to engage all relevant stakeholders to ensure its sustainability.
Mrs Ayisi gave the assurance at a town hall meeting in Cape Coast on Thursday organized by the Ministry of Information in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to showcase Government’s flagship policy initiatives.
It afforded the various ministries and departments the chance to interact, educate and inform the rank and file of the citizenry and enhance participation and inclusiveness in the local decision making processes.
The participants were schooled on the operations of the Planting for Food and Jobs, One Village One Dam, Free Senior High School, the One District One Factory and the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plans (NEIP) initiatives among others.
The Deputy Minister said the world has become a global village and the policy will enable more Ghanaian students to freely access quality education.
Mrs Ayisi expressed government’s commitment to the promotion of quality basic education in the country, adding that the restructuring of the capitation grant and the school-feeding programme were positive signs of government’s attention to basic education.
“It is the determination of government to create an ideal environment for the improvement of basic education in the country”, she said.
Mrs Ayisi advised school pupils to develop interest in schooling to enable them to realise their future dream and become assets to the nation, noting that the free education policy was to motivate the pupils not only to attend school regularly, but also to encourage others to attend school to help end poverty and develop an enlightened society.
Touching on unemployment she said the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP) would create new businesses and grow existing ones to enable them to develop viable and lucrative employment opportunities for the youth.
She said the NEIP would soon train the youth to acquire skills in vegetables and other crop production that would enable them to grow produce for both foreign and domestic consumption.
He said the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP) would focus on redirecting capital expenditure towards the constituency level as well as infrastructure and economic development priorities with particular emphasis on rural and deprived communities.
Mr Ernest Arthur, the Cape Coast Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE), said the meeting was part of efforts to promote local governance and accountability at the grassroots level and to encourage the people to participate effectively in governance.
He called on the public to support the policies and programmes of Government to speed up the development of the country.