The free distribution of Made-in-Ghana school sandals to pupils in deprived districts across the country, kicked off yesterday, following the launch of the programme by President John Mahama at Ada-Foah in the Greater Accra Region.
The programme, aimed at to complementing the free distribution of school uniforms and exercise books to school children, is to reduce the amount of money parents spend on their wards in school.
The sandals were manufactured by the Defence Industrial Holding Corporation, formerly Kumasi Shoe Factory. The new firm is jointly managed by the Ghana Armed Forces and their Czech partners.
Launching it, President Mahama announced that six million textbooks, 500,000 pieces of school uniforms, 15 million exercise books, and 30,000 computers would be distributed to schools across the country this year.
The move, he said was in line with the government’s social democratic principles, and reiterated that local firms would be given contracts for the production and supply of the educational materials.
President Mahama indicated that through the Complementary Basic Education programme, 95 per cent of school children had been enrolled in school, adding that the remaining five per cent would be mopped up in due course.
He said work on the Community Day Senior High schools was progressing steadily, and stated that the World Bank was financing work on an additional 23 of such schools, while funds had been made available for work on 50 more of the senior high schools this year, bringing the total to 123.
He urged the contractors working on the community day school project to expedite work, without compromising quality.
Mr. Alex Kyeremeh, a deputy Minister of Education, said two committees had been established to work on the modalities for the take-off of the free secondary education programme this year, adding that with financial assistance from development partners, 55,000 out-of-school children were returned to school under the complementary education programme.
Nii Laryea Afotey-Agbo, Greater Accra Regional Minister, in his remarks, observed that when the President announced government’s decision to distribute free school sandals, the news was taken with a pinch of salt in certain quarters.
The minister stressed the need for parents to take keen interest in the education of their wards by complementing the efforts made by teachers
From Samuel Nuamah, Ada-Foah