Free SHS is the Most Significant Social Intervention Since Independence – VP Bawumia
The Vice President of the Republic, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has described the Free Senior High School (FSHS) programme as the most significant social intervention since Ghana attained Independence in 1957.
Dr Bawumia argues that Free SHS has touched and will continue to positively affect the lives of every Ghanaian, even to generations unborn, and the Akufo-Addo Government, which rolled it out in September 2017, will continue to pay great attention to the education of Ghana’s children.
“The Free SHS is the most significant social intervention introduced in Ghana since independence,” Vice President Bawumia stated on Saturday, 15th February, 2020 at Swedru in the Central Region.
The Vice President, who was speaking at the 61st Speech and Prize Giving Day of the Swedru Senior High School, emphasised that the surest way to develop a nation was to educate its people, and the Akufo-Addo Government is determined to properly position Ghana to take advantage of the 4th Industrial Revolution.
The governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), then in opposition, promised to make secondary education free if elected in the 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections. The party has since enacted legislation to make basic education up to senior high school level and today, 1.2 million children are benefiting from Free SHS.
“This was a promise we made prior to the election in 2016 and one that we have fulfilled. We are investing and building capacity for the future of this country.
“The future of this nation depends largely on the kind of education that is provided for its citizenry. It is against this background that the President’s focus is on provision of quality education for every Ghanaian child, irrespective of their social or economic status in the society. Every Ghanaian child through quality education must be empowered to become economically independent,” he maintained.
Addressing the issue of accessibility, Vice President Bawumia said Government, faced with the challenge of inadequate infrastructure, had to come up with the innovative double track system while speedily providing the necessary infrastructure, and assured that the system, though successful, would soon be phased out.
“The fact is that without the double track system, hundreds of thousands of students would not be able to access free SHS. Those who are criticizing the double track system have not been able to offer an alternative. Abolishing the double track system means abolishing free SHS as we know it. Thousands will have stay at home. Whose child should stay at home?
“This is why government is investing in the construction of new infrastructure at senior high schools across the country and some schools are no longer on the double track. The double track system will therefore be over in just a few years for all schools when the infrastructure is completed.”
Dr. Bawumia stated that the Free SHS Policy should never be put in the hands of those who did not believe in it and are not committed to it. “Under Nana Akufo-Addo and the NPP, the Free SHS is irreversible; it has come to stay!” He noted