Free SHS hinges on barrier-free access — Vice-President


The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has stated that the Free SHS policy, which hinges on barrier-free access to education, is important in the drive towards an educated population.


He said the government’s firm belief was that if the country was to make any headway in its quest for economic development and building a resilient and capable society, “then we must pay particular attention to its human capital.”


Presentation of vehicles


Dr Bawumia stated this when he presented vehicles and motorbikes to the various metropolitan, municipal and district education directorates and the Ministry of Education and its agencies in Accra yesterday.


In all, 840 Isuzu double-cabin pickups, 350 buses and 2,000 motorbikes have been procured for the education sector to enhance monitoring, supervision and the administrative duties of schools and the various agencies.


Free SHS


“The expansion of knowledge and capabilities of the citizens is not only good for our socio-economic development, but it is also good for democracy and how we govern ourselves.


This is what drives this government’s commitment to the education sector,” Dr Bawumia said.

He said the Free SHS policy was, therefore, to ensure that every Ghanaian schoolage child had the opportunity to quality education, “no matter their family circumstances.”


“It is a matter of great satisfaction to note that the implementation of this policy has been successful under the hard working Minister of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh,” Dr Bawumia explained, describing the minister as, “a fighter for education.”


Achievements


He was happy that since the introduction of the Free SHS policy, the total population of SHS students shot up from 800,000 to 1.2 million, describing it as, “a huge jump” and no mean an achievement.


The Vice-President stated that government was conscious of the fact that it was not enough to simply put more children in school, “but there must be a purposeful drive towards ensuring quality learning outcomes.


“And we are relentlessly pursuing that path with the review of the Kindergarten (KG) to Primary Six curriculum, teacher training reforms and a more robust school inspection regime among several other initiatives,” Dr Bawumia stated.


Transformation


For his part, Dr Opoku Prempeh, said over the last three years, the nation had witnessed a complete transformation of the educational sector, adding that the government within the three years in office had performed better than all successive governments since independence.


He listed various reforms, including the comprehensive teacher education policy, the curriculum review, service delivery, saying that for about 20 years, such a presentation of the vehicles and motorbikes was never done.


Appreciation


Showing appreciation, the Director-General of the GES, Prof, Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa, stated that “education is key to all national development and to facilitate effective delivery of education at the community and school levels, there is the need for effective supervision and management.


“We believe that these cars will support us to deliver effective learning outcomes and we are highly grateful to the government,” he said.


He gave an assurance that the vehicles and motorbikes would be put to their rightful use, “we will not have any buts and ifs, we will not have any excuse not to deliver effective education and good learning outcomes.”


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