SHS enrolment up 69% in 3 years – Veep

Vice President Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has said as a result of the implementation of the Free Senior High School (SHS) policy, enrolment within the last three years has shot up by 69 per cent.

“There were a lot of skeptics about whether we could actually implement the Free SHS programme but with conviction and determination we started it and today SHS enrolment has gone up by 69 per cent in just three years, it shows many people would have been sitting at home.”

He said education was a necessity and a major tool for sustainable national development and that government was committed to making it easily accessible and affordable to all Ghanaian children.

Dr Bawumia was speaking as a special guest of honour during the celebration of the Samanpiid festival by the chiefs and people of the Bawku Traditional Area under the theme, “Harnessing the economic, social and cultural heritage of our people for the development of Kusaug”.

The Vice President though, admitted the infrastructure challenges confronting the smooth implementation of the policy leading to the adoption of the double track system, strong human resource base was very key to building a resilient economy.

 “However, one of our problems in sending our children to school was the cost associated with senior high school education. And because of that many of our children could not go to school”.

The Vice President reiterated government’s commitment to addressing the challenges confronting the policy particularly the issues of infrastructure to enable the quick elimination of the double track system.

“It has not been easy, we know we have to build more structures so that we would be able to stop the double track system and go into a single track system. But the double track notwithstanding, it is better for the children to be in school than to be sitting at home.”

As a result, he mentioned that government was under a massive infrastructure investment in various senior high schools across the country in a bid to provide the needed facilities to create conducive environment for the children to learn.

Dr Bawumia indicated that apart from the great investment government was making in the area of education, it was committing resources to boosting other critical areas of the economy that have the potentials to turn the fortunes of the country for good.

He said through the government flagship programme, Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJs), 1.4 million farmers across the country benefitted from subsidised fertilizers, improved seeds and agriculture extension services and out of which 206,204 farmers were from the Upper East Region and this has significantly led to abundance of harvest this year.

He noted for instance that the production of maize increased from 46,000 metric tonnes in 2017 to 152,000 metric tonnes by 2019, adding “we are building four warehouses in the region to be able to store these.

The Vice President assured that all the 150 dams would be constructed by the end of 2020 to make water readily available for farmers to undertake all year farming especially the dry season to curb migration and provide decent jobs for the teeming youth.

FROM SAMUEL AKAPULE, BAWKU

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