Thirty selected students from the 10 regions in the country have received the President’s Independence Day Award for academic excellence in the 2017 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).
The students, who rose above their peers in their final basic education examination, received the enviable accolades during the 21st Presidential Awards for Students ceremony in Accra yesterday.
The awards instituted in 1993 is designed to award scholarships to deserving BECE graduates.
For the first time in the history of the awards, students with special needs, who excelled in the examination, were also honoured.
The awardees included Sandra Adu and Michael Adjei from the Ashanti Region; Yaa Amankwa Tabury and Yaw Owusu-Ansah from the Brong Ahafo Region; Ewurama Selasie Gomado and Bright Asiedu Acquah; Central Region. Owusua Gloria and Addo Yaw Diabene represented the Eastern Region.
Others were Nawuntumya Dorothy Dinko and Djaba Herbert Junior from the Greater Accra Region; Addy Jessica Ramona and Adekaldu Ephraim Awenseba; Upper East, while Linda Naazie and Iddrisu Abdul Latif represented the Upper West Region. Cybel Adzo Adotevi and Nuertey Ayertey Augustine represented the Volta Region, while Doris Nyarkoh and Kontevi Dickson Dela were the pride of the Western Region.
Abdul-Salam Andani Yakubu was the only one who received the award from the Northern Region as a result of a petition brought against the other student, whose award was subsequently withheld.
Subject area awards
Those who excelled in subject areas were Kesseh Gideon, formerly of Kaneshie West JHS, who picked the award as the best in Pre-Technical, while Asaase Eleaza Mawunya, a former student of Achimota Basic 'A' JHS, received the award as the best in Visual Arts.
Antwi Buasiako Lois Emma, a former student of the St Theresa’s School “B” in the Eastern Region, took the award for Mathematics, while Gabianu Dennis, formerly of the University of Ghana JHS “C,” was honoured as the best student in Integrated Science.
The rest who received awards in the subject category were Essuman-Acquah Alfred of the University of Cape Coast JHS “A”,who was adjudged the best in Mathematics, while Kyei Betty-Lisa, formerly of the Ashanti Goldfields Company JHS also picked the Integrated Science award.
The four others who were rewarded in the Special Award category were Tahiru Abdul Kudos and Lovelina Lamptey, formerly of the Wa School for the Blind and the Akropong School for the Blind respectively, while Wireko Marfo Richlove and Adabadzi Kwame Wisdom, both former students of the Jamasi School for the Deaf, received special awards for their exceptional performance in the exam.
President commends awardees
President Akufo-Addo commended the awardees, saying, out of thousands of students who sat for the examination, they were chosen as the winners and that it was fitting that the nation recognised their performance.
He told the students that their performance did not only make their schools and families proud, but the entire nation, “because you truly deserve it’’.
Govt’s education policies
The Minister of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, said the government’s Free SHS policy did not stand in isolation as a springboard for access to senior high school.
“It is anchored in a broad range of reforms at all levels of our education system that we expect to make a fundamental difference to education service delivery,” he explained.