President Nana Akufo-Addo has told senior high school heads who are scheming to sabotage his government’s Free SHS programme that they will fail in that quest.
“I can tell them that they will not succeed”, the President said at a durbar organised in his honour by the chiefs and people of Dzolokpuita in the Volta Region on the final day of his two-day tour of that part of the country.
“They will not stand in the way of the future of our nation”, the President vowed.
He also criticised politicians who felt that their political fortunes were threatened by the Free SHS programme, bemoaning that “we have such politicians in Ghana”.
“But that's our lot”, he regretted, adding: “We will deal with it, that's not a problem, we will deal with it.”
The President said the investment being made in Ghana’s children's education is vital for the future of the country.
According to President Akufo-Addo, the development of the country’s human capital is what will enable Ghana transition from her current state into one of progress and prosperity, and thereby lift the standard of living of every Ghanaian.
Speaking with the staff and students of Mawuli Senior High School on Tuesday, 5 November 2019, the President indicated that prior to his coming into office, an average of 100,000 children, annually, could not transition from Junior High School into Senior High School because of financial constraints.
“We couldn't progress as a nation if we continued the haemorrhage of our human capital. 100,000 on the average every year for over ten years, one million young Ghanaians would grow up with the knowledge that they have at the Junior High school level and that's it? That's no way our future could be bright,” he said.
That's why, the President noted, that his government took the decision “right from the beginning of our administration that we were going to change the direction of our country, we were going to change the educational policy of our country and bring in the Free Senior High School so that those 100,000 that could not be captured in Senior High, now they are captured.”
With 1.2 million students currently in Senior High schools across the country, 400,000 more than the total number of students enrolled before the outset of Free SHS, this is the highest number of Ghanaian youths in SHS.
With the Free SHS policy being financed by the country’s oil revenues, the President stated that: “I don't have any regrets whatsoever about committing the oil revenues of our country to prepare our nation for the future. It is the best, most efficient, most equitable way all of us can participate in those revenues.”
President Akufo-Addo stressed that the oil revenues “are not there, sitting there, waiting for politicians like me to come and put their hands in oil revenues in their pockets, no. It is being used to prepare our nation for the future of our country. That's the best way we can use the oil revenues.”
Knowledge and technology, according to the President, are what will determine the fate of nations in the 21st century.
“My modest contribution to the growth of Ghana is to make sure that we are not left out of the progress that is ahead of us in the 21st century,” he added.