President Akufo-Addo Launches Free SHS Tomorrow At Adentan
| Updated Sep 11, 2017 at 1:41pm
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will tomorrow, September 12, 2017 official launch the Free Senior High School, (SHS) policy at the West Africa SHS (WASS) at Adentan in the Greater Accra Region.
The policy effectively marks the end of an era when financial constraints were a barrier to the aspirations of children who wanted secondary education in the country.
The free SHS/technical and vocational education and training (TVET) program is a package comprising the removal of cost barriers, the physical expansion of school infrastructure, improvement in the quality of secondary education, equity and the acquisition of skills for employment.
Statistics available indicate that on the average more than 140,000 students are either not placed by the Computerized Schools Selection and Placement System (CSSPS) or placed but do not enroll, largely because of financial barriers, every year.
Out of the number of students placed by the CSSPS yearly, more than 25 per cent do not enroll, while the northern scholarship admission and placement trend shows that an average of 11.48 per cent of candidates placed by the CSSPS do not enroll.
In 2013, out of the 352,202 candidates who were placed, 90,604 did not enroll, while in 2014 the number of candidates who did not enroll, although they qualified, was 113,260.
In the case of 2015, the number of candidates who did not enroll was 115,363, while that of 2016 was 111,336.
Earlier this year, President Akufo-Addo at the 60th Anniversary celebration and the Speech and Prize Giving Day of Okuapeman School in Akropong in the Eastern Region, outlined what was entailed in the free SHS policy.
“Let me take this opportunity to spell out clearly what we intend to do so no one in Ghana is left in any doubt.
“By free SHS we mean that in addition to tuition which is already free, there will be no admission fee, no library fee, no science centre fee, no computer lab fee, no examination fee, and no utility fee; there will be free text books, free boarding and free meals, and day students will get a meal at school for free.” President Akufo-Addo said.
The President said: “Free SHS will also cover agricultural, vocational and technical institutions at the high school level. I also want to state clearly again that we have a well-thought out plan that involves the building of new public senior high schools and cluster public senior high schools.”
President Akufo-Addo said the country’s inability to give all citizens the education which had enabled countries of the West and Asia to thrive had created the missing link in economic development.
“For this reason, I am committed, without any equivocation, without any reservation, without any doubt, to take Ghana to the stage where public senior high school education will be free for every Ghanaian child.
“I want every Ghanaian child to attend secondary school not just for what they learn in books, but for the life experiences that they will gain. I want each of them to look in the mirror in the morning, every morning and know that they can achieve anything they dream of when they complete their studies." President Akufo-Addo said.
The free SHS policy is in line with the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Four, Target One, which states: “By 2030, all boys and girls complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education, leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes.”
It also stipulates that by 2030, all girls and boys will have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education, so that they are ready for primary education.