President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has singled out his government’s flagship Free Senior High School (SHS) policy describing it as a transformational step that will expedite Ghana’s socio-economic development for a lifetime.
He says the policy together with Free Technical, Vocational and Education Training (TVET) have now become integral parts of the country’s educational structure.
While delivering his final State of the Nation Address of his first term of office in Parliament today, Tuesday, January 5, 2021, President Akufo-Addo maintained that these two initiatives have strengthened and opened access to teaching and learning at the basic level.
Touting the achievements made in the past four years, the President was hopeful that the progress to be brought on by the strides made in education will secure the future of the Ghanaian child.
“Four years ago, it sounded recklessly optimistic, but Free SHS and Free TVET are now entrenched parts of our educational setup. In a few years’ time, we can guarantee that the basic education for the work-force in our country would be at the secondary level. It is a transformational step we have taken, which should quicken the development all around and give us confidence in our future”, he said.
In September 2017, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo launched the free SHS policy, describing it as the means of creating a society of opportunities and empowerment for every citizen.
The first batch of students to benefit from the policy was enrolled in that same year.
Under the free SHS programme, students do not pay admission, library, science centre, computer laboratory, utility and examination fees.
Boarding students benefit from free textbooks, free boarding fees and free meals, while day students are entitled to free lunch.
WASSCE performance of first batch
Upon the release 2020 West African Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), Nana Addo applauded the first batch of beneficiaries of the policy for what he says is their excellent showing in the exam.
An analysis of the 2020 results revealed that performances in Mathematics and English Language were the highest, recording 65.71 and 57.34 percent, respectively.
Social Studies and Integrated Science recorded 64.31 and 52.53 percent, respectively, the checks further indicated.
The data also shows that about 60% of the 342,500 candidates who wrote the WASSCE, representing over 200,000, scored between A1 and C6 in their best six subjects, including English and Mathematics, which qualifies them for tertiary education.
“I am reliably informed that the WASSCE results of all 2020 SHS graduates, was extremely impressive. Those who claimed that the policy was not achievable must be very ashamed now. I will shelve that conversation for now, so we deal with it another day. I congratulate all students for their excellent performance. Indeed, the 2020 results of the WASSCE candidates is the only year in the past six (6) years that more than fifty percent (50%) of candidates who sat for the examination obtained A1-C6 in all core subjects,” he said.