The Minister of Education, Dr. Yaw Adutwum, yesterday told Parliament that the 2022 Budget statement and Economic Policy of the government present an opportunity to turn around the economic fortunes of Ghana, urging all and sundry to support and approve it for implementation.
“The 2022 Budget”, he noted “is a sign of good things to come”.
Speaking to journalists during Parliamentary sitting, moments after contributing to the motion for the approval of the budget statement, Dr. Adutwum made a strong case to back his call for support of the economic policy of the government for the year ending December 31, 2022.
For instance, he said the 2022 Budget is going to make massive investments in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education, stressing that once they are achieved, it will help transform the country’s educational sector”.
“We are talking about 35 STEM high schools. It is just like building 35 PRESEC schools across the country. When we talk about a transformed Junior High School – schools that have the feel and look and the content of a high school so that we can reverse the damage that was done to our education system from the 1987 reforms that we took which reduced high school education from seven to three years because the three years that was supposed to make it six, the Junior High School was never implemented as such”, he noted.
He added “When you walk across the length and breadth of the nation into a Junior High School where there are no libraries, no science labs, no computer labs and we still tell the good people of Ghana this is a Junior High School. We borrowed this concept from the United States of America where Senior High School and Junior High Schools are not on the same premises. But in each of the Junior High Schools, we have the same facilities – we never did that”.
According to him, the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the government is seeking to reverse that trend and build new Junior High Schools that have all the elements of Senior High School.
“This means that with three years of lower Secondary Education, you can go to Upper Secondary Education and be equipped with six years of quality education. This budget has allocated potential funds for it”, he explained.
He said all these clearly outlines the vision of President Akufo-Addo, which he described second to none, believing that the number of initiatives outlines in the budget when achieved, will put President in the National Education Hall of Fame.
“The name Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will be written in gold in the National Education Hall of Fame – the day that we will build it and so will Ken Ofori Atta, the Minister of Finance because this budget is laying the foundation for the Ghanaian economy to be competitive. We talk about STEM Universities so that all those regions without universities will also claim a university. So, when I heard some of my colleagues saying we will not vote for the budget, my response is that maybe you haven’t read the budget to your constituents and if you have, they will tell you to stay in Accra until it is approved because our hopes and future is in this budget. The budget is going to take Ghana to a new level where we could compete with the rest of the world. This is the budget for the 21st Century”, he stressed.