Free SHS double track system debate: It won’t affect quality of educ

President Akufo-Addo being welcome by Jetse Abraham Kabu Akuaku III,Paramount Chief of Ada traditional area

President Akufo-Addo being welcome by Jetse Abraham Kabu Akuaku III,Paramount Chief of Ada traditional area

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said the double track system is being introduced due to the increased senior high school (SHS) enrolment arising from the free SHS policy.


He debunked the claim that the free SHS programme would affect the quality of high school education.


“This system will not destroy our education system as the professional naysayers would want you to believe. On the contrary, this system would reduce class sizes, increase the contact hours between teachers and students as well as increase the number of holidays.”


“Every bold new initiative that is rolled out will encounter hitches and challenges. However, I am inspired by the famous Chinese adage which says a journey of a thousand miles begins with a first step. We have taken that first step in Ghana and we should deal with the challenges,” he said.


President Akufo-Addo stated these when he joined the chiefs and people of Ada in the Greater Accra Region to celebrate this year’s Asafotufiame festival on Saturday.


The festival brought home indigenes of Ada living in other parts of the country and attracted thousands of local and foreign tourists to witness the community’s rich and colourful culture and heritage on full display.


President Akufo-Addo said about 36 new factories under the government’s One District One Factory programme are at various stages of being operationalised to create thousands of direct and indirect jobs.


One of such factories, the President said, was the LanTianyi Soy Milk Company at Asutsuare in the Shai Osudoku District in the Greater Accra Region which had been officially inaugurated and fully operationalised.


President Akufo-Addo said Ada would also benefit from the One District One Factory initiative and urged the Ada East and West District Assemblies as well as the Ada Traditional Council to develop a strategic plan towards exploiting the vast potential of the area to ensure that residents benefited from their local resources.


“The Songor Lagoon, for example, about which a passionate appeal has been made to me, has the potential to produce salt in large scale and in commercial quantities from its current status. Government is collaborating with all relevant stakeholders to ensure that the necessary investment is secured for its development into a modern salt industry.”


“The successful implementation of this project will create employment for lots of people and generate the much needed revenue for development,” he said.


On agriculture, he said majority of Ghanaians would experience change in their lives when agriculture was well developed and indicated that the country had unique potential to feed the country, meet the raw material requirements of processing industries, achieve food security and compete successfully as a leading exporter of agricultural products to neighbouring countries and beyond.


That, he said, was the rationale for his administration’s Planting for Food and Jobs initiative introduced last year.


“This year, the programme is being expanded to include 500,000 farmers, up from the 200,000 last year. With the Asafotufiame festival held to mark the end of harvest, I am confident that next year would be marked by a bumper harvest and I will encourage as many farmers as possible in the Ada area to join the programme which is expected to cover one million farmers by 2020,” he said.


He said a key challenge of the country’s economy, like many other economies in Africa, was infrastructural deficits and announced plans by the government to embark on a Private Public Partnership to attract investments in the development of the railway infrastructure.


With a solid private public initiative, he said the country could develop a modern railway network that could connect the country to Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire and Togo, the neighbouring countries in the north, west and eastern borders respectively.


“The Minister for Roads and Highways has informed me that the roads in the Ada area are receiving his undivided attention and work on all abandoned projects will commence very soon. We can only realise the full gains from these and other projects when there is full peace and security in Ada,” he said.


President Akufo-Addo urged the traditional leaders in the area to live in peace, harmony, and understanding and urged them to act in unity as one people to, collectively lift up the fortunes of Ada.

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