There is no debate about the validity of the ‘Free SHS’ policy – Akufo-Addo

Free Shs
free SHS

The successes chalked under the Free Senior High School (SHS) policy have proved critics wrong, says President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

“Surely, there can no longer be any controversy about the validity of the policy and its consequential measures,” he echoed.

President Nana Akufo-Addo, addressing the 2023 Ghana Teacher Prize ceremony, in Takoradi, Western Region, said the initiative was based on the experiential evidence that its implementation was feasible.

In September 2017, the New Patriotic Party (NPP)-led Government introduced the policy to give free access to the youth in accessing second-cycle education.

Prior to its take-off, the Ministry of Education estimated that, each year, about 100,000 students from the Junior High School (JHS) level could not make it to the SHS as a result of financial difficulties on the part of their parents and guardians.

Following its implementation, the 2017/18 academic year saw a new record with the highest enrollment ever seen in the country – over 470,000 students enrolled in Senior High School.

Currently, more than1.6 million youth have benefitted from the Free SHS policy.

President Nana Akufo-Addo said due to the huge investment committed to the programme, the WASSCE results recorded over the years had been encouraging.

“The 2022 WASSCE results are the best in the last eight years,” he added.

Reports indicate that the 2020, 2021 and 2022 results remain the only time in the past eight years that more than 50 per cent of candidates obtained A1-C6 in all core subjects – English Language, Integrated Science, Mathematics and Social Studies.

The President said the Government’s vision of achieving Goal Four of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was on course.

That is to ensure that all girls and boys have access to equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes by 2030.

The President lauded teachers for playing an instrumental role in the nation’s educational agenda.

The Government, he said, would give them the needed support to enhance their overall contribution and commitment to harnessing development of the human resource base.

Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, Minister of Education, giving some statistics of the significant educational feats recorded under the Nana Akufo-Addo-led Administration, said as of 2022, 38 per cent of primary two pupils could read.

As of 2015, only two per cent of primary two pupils could read.

“We are on a different trajectory,” the Minister noted.

This year’s Ghana Teacher Prize ceremony celebrated how teachers are transforming education.

It reflected on the support they need to fully deploy their talent and vocation, and to rethink the way ahead for the profession globally.

Faith Aku Dzakpasu, a teacher of the Great ‘D’ Shepherd Two Basic School in the Ga Central District, Greater Accra Region, was adjudged the Most Outstanding Teacher.

She was given a three-bedroom house worth GHS450, 000.

Several distinguished teachers also received prizes in other categories, including the Best KG School Teacher, Best Primary School Teacher, Best JHS School Teacher, and Best SHS Technical Teacher.

Those nominated under the College Tutor, and Teacher in Leadership and Administration categories were also honoured.

They were presented with prizes ranging from cars to cheques.

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