Students benefiting from the Free Senior High School policy of the government have been asked to vindicate the policy.
They were advised not to take the opportunity for granted, but study hard to produce outstanding academic results.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo gave the advise when he made a brief stop at the Ntruboman Senior High School at Breweniase in the Nkwanta South District of the Oti region.
According to the President, despite the huge investment in the future of the country’s youth through Free SHS education, there are many who who are seriously opposing it till date.
He therefore charged the first batch of students who will be graduating to the final year in September 2019 to pass their final exams.
Senior high schools in the Oti and Volta regions have witnessed a 38 percent rise in enrolment following the implementation of the Free Senior High School.
For instance, at Ntruboman SHS student enrollment shot up from a little over 500 to 923 while Nkwanta SHS also saw an increased from 1451 in 2016 to 1898 in 2019 representing 40.8 percent.
According to the President, a sterling performance by the first batch of the program will vindicate him and prove that Free SHS is truly a policy that is geared towards enhancing the country’s human resource.
He said, “you have a big responsibility, to make sure that this free senior high school concept comes to stay and all Ghanaians buy into it.”
” Those of you who will go next year to take the exams will be the first of the free senior high school generation to take the exams.
My prayer is that the result of the exams will show that Ghanaians are right to embrace the free senior high school concept.
You are the pioneers, don’t let the school down and shame all those people who didn’t want you to have the free senior high school.”
Double Track to End
The President who expressed similar sentiments at Nkwanta Senior High School assured that very soon the double track system will come to an end as about $1.5 billion has been allocated to the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) to support infrastructure in the various Senior High Schools.
He said the massive infrastructure programme will also make nonsense of the claims by critics that Free SHS should have been delayed until schools had adequate infrastructure.
Recalling a case made by the Deputy GETfund Coordinator, Joseoh Dente about how Nkwanta SHS began, Preaident Akufo-Addo said “if we had to wait for infrastructure to be ready for Nkwanta SHS to start, this school will not have existed,”
Mr. Denteh who is a pioneering student of Nkwanta SHS had said, the school began in a construction yard of a German Company called Azabajan in 1979.
He added that, the boys dormitory then was in a corrugated roofing sheet structure used by the company as a tools store room.
He said if under such harsh conditions he and his mates, including the current headmaster of the school had become successful in life, then it was a national disgrace for people to oppose Free SHS on the back of inadequate infrastructure.
President Akufo-Addo on this note said, as far as he was concerned, the human resource which is the most important resource of the country will be developed to its optimum irrespective of the cost and challenges.
Donations to Ntruboman SHS and Nkwanta SHS
The President, at Ntruboman SHS where government has completed an ultra-modern administration assured them of a school bus and a pickup truck.
He also assured them that their school will be considered under the GETFund Infrasture programme to deals with their various needs.
At Nkwanta, he cut the sod for the construction of a six-unit classroom, six-seater toilet facility and 300-bed femal dormitory block.
The president who was impressed by the farming prowess of the school promised them a tractor to help expand their 8-acre maize and 3-acre vegetable farm to cover the additional one kilometer square farm land at their disposal.
From Fred Duodu, Breweniase and Nkwanta (firstname.lastname@example.org)