President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says government is confronting the inherent challenges that have been associated with the implementation of the Free Senior High School (SHS) Policy. With some 1.2 million children currently enrolled in Senior High Schools, the highest such enrolment in Ghana’s history, President Akufo-Addo stated that sufficient provision has been made in the 2020 budget for the continued construction of facilities.
Speaking at the 70th-anniversary celebration of Prempeh College in Kumasi, on Saturday [November 30, 2019], President Akufo-Addo indicated that government, this year, commenced the construction of 962 structures, comprising classrooms, dining halls, assembly halls, sanitary facilities, and dormitories, in SHS across the country. “We are also providing a total of one thousand, one hundred and ninety (1,190) vehicles, made up of three hundred and fifty (350) buses and eight hundred and forty (840) pickups to schools in various areas in the country,” he added.
President Akufo-Addo assured the Ghanaian people of government’s determination to address head-on the problems that arise from the implementation of the policy. Explaining the rationale for the implementation of the Free SHS policy, the President stated that he came into office at a time when, between 2013 and 2016, there was the unfortunate situation in Ghana where, on the average, 100,000 children, every year, who passed the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) could not take up their places in SHS, because they could not afford the fees, even though they had the qualifications.
“If this situation had persisted for a decade, one million children would have dropped out of school at the level of Junior High School (JHS), an unacceptable outcome for any nation in the 21st century,” he said.