‘Support govt’s free SHS to succeed’

President Akufo-Addo with Lawra SHS's overall best student in the 2018 WASSCE Exam

President Akufo-Addo with Lawra SHS’s overall best student in the 2018 WASSCE Exam

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has asked Ghanaians to rally behind the government in its quest to provide free senior high school (SHS) education for all Ghanaian children.

He said even though, the implementation of the programme over the last two years had come with some problems, they were not as bad as the opposition would have the world believe.

“Ninety thousand more students were admitted into SHSs in 2017 as against those taken in 2016 whereas 180,000 more students have been admitted in 2018, and this was made possible by the free SHS policy. Government is aware of the challenges and keeps fashioning out measures to contain them however the opposition keeps exaggerating the problems,” the President explained.

President Akufo-Addo was speaking at the 50th anniversary of the Lawra Senior High School in the Upper West Region at the weekend.

It was marked on the theme, “Honouring our Past and Creating Academic Excellence.”

Established in 1968, the school as of October, 2018 had a student population of 1,964 out of which 643 were females.

President Akufo-Addo said children required the kind of socialisation given at the SHS level in order to grow into sound adults, adding that, “experience at the senior high school such as socialisation and knowledge sharing is something we should not deny young people of.”

He reiterated plans to surmount the challenges bedeviling the free SHS policy by securing a $1.5 billion facility through the Ghana Education Trust Fund to construct more infrastructure at the various SHSs.

The President hinted of plans to establish a technical and vocational training institute for the region at Lawra as well as upgrade Brifoh SHS into a model one to increase intake of students and enhance teaching and learning activities.

“Government is reforming the basic school curricular to focus on the three “Rs” which are reading, writing and arithmetic and also include more of technical knowledge,” Nana Addo revealed and called on Ghanaians to support the development drive of government.

The Chief of the Lawra Traditional Area, Naa Karbo Puowele III, noted that the free SHS had brought relief to many parents and eliminated the anxiety and panic that came with admission of their wards into senior high schools.

“We have followed keenly with deep interest and admiration, the visionary policies you have initiated towards creating prosperity for all Ghanaians. The Planting for Food and Jobs, One village One Dam, One District One Factory and Free Senior High School policies have received local and international acclaim and set the standard for emulation by many countries across Africa,” the chief trumpeted.

Mr Simon Yeng Bonsodong, headmaster of the school, highlighting some challenges faced by the school appealed to government and other benevolent bodies to support the school with a dining hall,  an assembly hall, classrooms and dormitories.

BY LYDIA DARLINGTON FORDJOUR, LAWRA

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