Source:savannanews24.com/ Rafiq Abdulai:
Government’s flagship program the free Senior High School has come to stay.
That’s according to the vice President of the republic of Ghana HE Alhaji Dr. Mahmoudu Bawumia.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) government in its first year launched the free SHS policy across the country.
The free SHS is one of the most important social intervention programs that has been implemented in Ghana. According to the vice president, access to quality education remains the bedrock for reducing the high level of poverty in the country.
The free SHS policy provides the platform for equal opportunities for all students Dr. Bawumia says government has absorbed all payments including tuition fees, science centre fees, library fees, computer laboratory fees, examination fees and utility fees. Free text books have also been distributed to all public senior High schools in the country for the use of students.
Dr Bawumia disclosed this in a speech read on his behalf by the Hon. Northern Regional Minister Salifu Sa-eed.
Dr. Bawumia further revealed during the first year of implementing the free SHS policy, there has been an increase of over 90,000 student’s intake into senior high schools across the country.
This Dr. Bawumia said is significant and a key milestone towards building a resilient economy.
Government is committed to building a resilient economy and therefore we must all be discipline and work hard towards quality education.
He said there is the need to develop the right human capital to help government achieve this objective.
Dr. Bawumia further stressed, the free SHS policy is a relief to many parents. It has removed the burden of paying school fees from parents who can not afford their wards school fees.
The vice president is however coy of the challenges in implementing the free SHS policy but says government is committed to addressing them.
“Despite the challenges in the initial implementation of the free SHS policy, government remains firm in its conviction to overcome all the hurdles. Our approach is holistic, effective, relevant, all inclusive and consistent. Government will continue to engage stakeholders to ensure that we include all aspects of our secondary education.
We have implemented a system to track our progress to ensure that we achieve the objective of the free SHS policy. We will continue to ensure strong cooperation and dialogue with all stakeholders to find lasting solutions to the challenges that we face in our quest to deliver free quality SHS education”.
Dr. Bawumia however revealed the growing rate of unemployment situation in the country is a great concern to government and that it has taken deliberate steps to address it.
“Government will not lose sight of the level of unemployment situation in the country. Despite all the hard work and efforts being made by government to create a conducive environment to enable the private sector grow and absorb people in employment government has also taken deliberate steps to address the situation in the country”.
He said government last year launched the national entrepreneurship and innovation plan (NEIP), design to enhance the emergence and growth of new and existing businesses by the youth. Through financial and innovative business development support. This policy since it inception has engaged thousands of youth through business development and entrepreneurship trainings which will help them start new businesses and compete well in both national and international market.
The Bawumia in his speech announced that under NEIP, about 7000 young entrepreneurs have been provided with businesses advisory skills.
These 7000 young entrepreneurs will receive further training which will select 1000 of them in the first phase to be supported with some funding to launch their businesses.
The NEIP initiative is being implemented by the minister for business development under the leadership of a renowned, experience and successful business man, Hon. Mohammed Awal, an alma mater of Ghana senior high school in Tamale who is expected to leverage on his experience to help empower these young entrepreneurs.
The vice presidents speech was delivered on the speech and price giving day of Ghana senior high school today Saturday at the schools oval. The theme for the occasion was “DISCIPLE AND HARD WORK; PREREQUISITE FOR SUCCESS.
Dr. Mahmoud Bawumia donated a brand new double carbine pick up to the school.