President John Dramani Mahama on Thursday introduced what appears to be a novelty, by displaying for applause beneficiaries of his government’s various social intervention programmes, while delivering his State of the Nation address in Parliament.
President Mahama purposely invited to the chamber the beneficiaries of the various government intervention programmes ranging from education, health and economy.
He set the tone for his address by indicating that he would be bridging the gap between policy and the people.
“Mr Speaker, in this address on the State of the Nation, I would like to show the direct line between policy and people. I would like to show how the seeds we have been planting for the last 3 years, have taken root and grown.”
The President singled out two girls, Apem Sholamitey and a Dzidzor Awamwah, who had both benefited from some government educational programmes.
Community Day SHS
President Mahama noted that 123 Community Day Senior High Schools are being implemented as part of the 200 schools he promised, adding that they are at various stages of completion.
He added that, the new schools have created almost 200,000 new places for students, as part of the biggest secondary education expansion programme.
“The 123 schools that are being implemented right now will create almost 200,000 new places in the system thereby making the community day school intervention the biggest ever expansion programme in the history of secondary education in Ghana.”
One of the beneficiaries of these new community Day high schools is Apem Sholamitey, who is now the assistant school prefect of the Attah-Mills Community day school at Otuam in the Central Region.
“It is because of this programme that the 16-year old Apem Sholamitey, is now the assistant school prefect of the Attah-Mills Community day school in Otuam,” the President stated.
President Mahama also revealed that just 3 years after the establishment of the University of Health and Allied Sciences in Ho, it has enrolled over 2,300 students while creating 816 jobs.
“Dzidzor Kwamwah is one of the students enrolled in the University and she has been given the chance to pursue her dream course in medicine following her completion of Senior High School and placement challenges,” the President noted.
According to the President, “this will make a difference in the lives of the patients that Dzidzor will treat in future when she passes out as a doctor.”
Other beneficiaries showcased
President Mahama called out a mother, Mercy Pomah, who had safely delivered her baby at the Nkora-Nkwanta polyclinic despite the high probability of complications owing to a caesarian section she had had during a previous child birth.
He also recounted the story of one Umar Mahmud Muktar who grew up a farm hand in village in the Upper West region of Ghana but is now benefiting from a health training institute course and is on his way to becoming a health care professional.
“This gentleman may probably save your life one day,” President Mahama quipped, referring to the Speaker of Parliament.
A 42-year old woman, Zainabu, was held up as an example of a LEAP beneficiary who has invested her LEAP grant in livestock farming.
She has increased one piglet into 10 pigs, and she is now able to support her household and take care of her family since her husband passed away.
By Delali Adogla-Bessa/citifmonline.com/Ghana
Photos by Godwin Allotey and Sandister Tei