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Akufo-Addo Replies Cynics! ...Assures Free SHS Will Stay & Be Sustained

Published in politics Monday, 27 November 2017 18:22

By Frank Amponsah

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has confidently assured his critics of the Free SHS policy that the policy implementation is sustainable and is here to stay.

 

According to him, the politically motivated propagandists and naysayers, who, in the last few years, said that Free SHS was not possible, and could happen only after 20 years, are now singing a new tune.

“They now claim Free SHS is not sustainable, and will crash in 5 years” he said.

Sounding very confident, President Akufo-Addo responded and stated clearly that “the Free SHS is here to stay, because leadership is about choices, and I have no doubt that the overwhelming majority of Ghanaians support the choice that I have made. They recognise the importance of the investment we are making in the youth and in the future of our country. The investment will be sustained.”

President Akufo-Addo said this when he addressed the 68th Anniversary of the Prempeh College in Kumasi on Sunday, 26th November, 2017.

He said “I continue to be puzzled as to the vehemence with which so-called social democrats oppose or attempt to undermine measures designed to address poverty. Their demagoguery and opportunism will always be exposed.

He revealed that over the last four years, for example, an average of 100,000 BECE graduates, who were placed in the country’s public senior high schools each year, did not take up their place.

“This means that, in the next decade, at least one million of our young men and women, without any employable skills, would have had their education terminated at junior high school. It would have been too dangerous for Ghana’s stability, as we would have been building a future of hopelessness for our youth,” he said.

Such a situation, the President bemoaned, “was totally unacceptable and intolerable, and I was determined to end it.”

President Akufo-Addo said he was inspired by the famous Chinese adage which says “a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step” hence will surmount the teething challenges confronting the Free SHS policy, as there would be with any new, bold initiative.

“We have taken that first step in Ghana, and we shall deal with the challenges. In dealing with them, tenders have already gone out, and, soon, contracts will be awarded for the provision of some 69,500 mono desks, and some 13,100 bunk beds,” he said.

The President continued, “Additionally, tender notices have been issued for the supply of furniture for dining halls, staff rooms of teachers, computer laboratories, and the provision of marker boards for classrooms.”

The Free SHS policy he said will ensure that all of Ghana’s children will be educated to at least secondary level, and money, or the lack of it, will no longer mean a denial of education.

“Already, the policy has led to an increase of over 90,000 children, who have entered senior high school this academic year, who would otherwise have dropped out at this stage,” he said.

Further, under the Secondary Education Improvement Project, the President revealed that Government had secured a $40 million loan from the World Bank for the expansion and upgrading of facilities in 75 Senior High Schools across the country.

He also revealed that construction works on the existing Community Day Schools are ongoing, he said, and that “Government will also upgrade 42 Senior High Schools into model school status.”

It could be recalled that the former President, John Mahama, when he was addressing the NDC’s Unity Walk in Tarkwa last Saturday, described the free SHS as ‘lalasulala’ policy which would fail.

To him, the NPP government failed to conduct extensive consultations to explore sustainable means of funding and the challenges faced after implementation of the policy in September this year, will mostly likely increase in subsequent years when government revealed that it will set up a Trust to receive donations from the public to support education in Ghana.

 

 

Read 61 times Last modified on Monday, 27 November 2017 18:27

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