General News of Wednesday, 19 July 2017
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says he will look very foolish and extremely dishonest in the eyes of people if he is unable to implement his flagship education policy, the free Senior High School.
The policy is a high priority on government policies and it was not a promise to hoodwink Ghanaians as suggested by some critics. Answering a question posed to him at his maiden media encounter, the president said, ‘’I am not a hood winker, I am not a cone man and I am an honest man.’’
The policy has been spelt out in a series of engagements by the Education Minister and will be available to students who gain admission into Senior High School this year.
He said, there have not been a change of goal post by government on the policy and government has been consistent with its explanation and implementation plan.
The so-called elite schools will be required to allocate 30 percent admission for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, he said.
The reason why I have been insistent on the policy Nana Addo said, is to give opportunity to every Ghanaian child and create a system where opportunities are widespread and not confined.
President Akufo-Addo had assured that his government will fully implement the free Senior High School (SHS) policy from September 2017.
The policy will ensure that Ghanaians who qualify for SHS are not burdened with financial difficulties, he said while delivering a speech at the special guest of honour at the 60th Anniversary celebration of Okuapeman School in the Eastern Region on Saturday, [February 11, 2017].
Akufo-Addo said, government “will fund the cost of public Senior High Schools for all those who qualify for entry from the 2017/2018 academic year onwards… so that no one in Ghana is left in any doubts.”
“By free SHS, we mean that, in addition to tuition which is already free, there will be no admission fees, no library fees, no science centre fees, no computer lab fees, no examination fees, no utility fees; there will be free textbooks, free boarding and free meals, and day students will get a meal at school for free.”
He further stated that, the “free SHS will also cover agricultural, vocational and technical institutions at the high school level. I also want to state clearly again that we have a well-thought out plan that involves the building of new public Senior High Schools and cluster public Senior High Schools”.