The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has assured that his government “will fund the cost of public Senior High Schools for all those who qualify for entry from the 2017/2018 academic year onwards.”
Spelling out the details of policy, “so that no one in Ghana is left in any doubts”, President Akufo-Addo explained that “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.”
The President added further that “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”.
President Akufo-Addo made this known on Saturday, February 11, 2017, when, as the Special Guest of Honour, he delivered a speech at the 60th Anniversary celebration of Okuapeman School.
Speaking on the theme of the celebration, “One Vision, Many Lives”, the President noted that a society that aims to transform itself into a modern, productive player in the global market needs an educated workforce; and that means it must get its educational policies right.
According to the President, the fact that “we have been unable to give all our citizens the education which has enabled the countries of the West and of Asia to thrive is the missing link in our economic development.”
For this reason, the President told the gathering that he is committed, “without any equivocation, without any reservation, without any doubt”, to take Ghana to the stage where public Senior High School education will be free for every Ghanaian child.
President Akufo-Addo noted that a well-trained, confident and contented teacher is at the heart of his government’s delivery of quality education.
He assured that “the views of teachers will be sought on education policy, innovation and implementation. Their professional development and needs will be treated with respect and we shall ensure that teachers’ salaries and allowances are paid regularly and on time.”
President Akufo-Addo also indicated that teacher trainee allowances, as already announced by the Vice President, will be restored in the first budget of his presidency, which is scheduled for next month.
“My administration will also focus on the provision of incentives that will motivate teachers, and reward their hard work in the classroom. Government will collaborate with GNAT, NAGRAT, and other teaching associations to facilitate an affordable housing scheme for teachers. Teachers will be afforded the opportunity to upgrade their qualifications and we aim to make the teaching profession, once again, a proud choice,” he added.
The President, in concluding, pledged his commitment to the renovation and the full equipping of the Science Resource Centre of Okuapeman School as a commemorative event of its 60th birthday.