SHS to be made least educational standard - Prez Akufo-Addo announces at Beposo

BY: Daniel Kenu
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in a hug  with the Beposohene, Nana Boamah Kwabi IV
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in a hug with the Beposohene, Nana Boamah Kwabi IV

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has hinted of a new law that will ensure that every child of school age gets access to education, at least up to senior high school SHS).

The law, which is apparently to protect the free SHS policy, will also compel parents not to impede any eligible child from gaining access to education.

The President gave the hint when he addressed a durbar of the chiefs and the people of Beposo in the Sekyere Central District in the Ashanti Region last Saturday on the second leg of his five-day tour of the Ashanti Region.

He, however, did not give details of the intended law and when it would be submitted to Parliament for promulgation but stressed that the free SHS policy had come to stay and that “critics of the policy have been put to shame”.

As part of the five-day tour, President Akufo-Addo will visit the Manhyia South, Asokwa, Nhyiaeso, Bosomtwe, Bantama and Sekyere Central constituencies.

The other areas would be Nsuta-Kwamang-Beposo, Mampong, Subin, Ahafo-Ano South, Kwadaso, Atwima Kwanwoma and Oforikrom constituencies.

Last Friday, he cut the sod for a facelift of major roads in Kumasi to ease traffic, promote business and reduce flooding.


No school dropout

Speaking at the durbar at Beposo, President Akufo-Addo said the government did not want a situation where Ghanaian schoolchildren would become dropouts.

He said by ensuring that every Ghanaian child received SHS education, the government would be able to address the challenge of youth unemployment.

“Very soon we will pass legislation that stipulates that every child in Ghana should go to school up to SHS, at least. We don’t want dropouts.

This way, everyone can find meaningful employment in this country,” he said.

Fulfilling promises

He said so far many of the promises he had made in the run-up to the December 2016 elections had been fulfilled.

“The work that we promised to do, the promises I made during the campaign period — I believe that all Ghanaians can attest to the fact that they were not idle promises but rather promises that I honestly believed I could fulfil once I won power,” he said.

Apart from fulfilling the promise to ensure free SHS education, the President said, “we have reduced electricity tariffs as well to bring relief to individual households, and to businesses”.

“By so doing, business owners, especially entrepreneurs, will be energised to bring in more income. We came to visit you and to inform you that the promises we made to you here at Beposo during the campaign period are being fulfilled,” he stressed.

Appreciation

President Akufo-Addo thanked the Chief of Beposo, Nana Boamah Kwabi IV, for making available 24,000 acres of land to the government to facilitate the realisation of programmes such as the Planting for Food and Jobs and the One-district, One-factory.

“These are very valuable additions. I am truly thankful.

In the same vein, the Kwamanhene has also offered us 5,000 acres for the Planting for Food and Jobs. The Nsutamanhene has given us 3,000 acres for warehouses.

Out of the 21 constituencies here in Asanteman that will have warehouses, Nsuta will receive one,” he announced.

Appeal

Nana Kwabi appealed to the President to ensure that electricity was extended to all communities in the Beposo area.

Earlier, the President had visited the North American Farms at Nkujua Aframso, owned by a member of the Council of State, Nana Owusu Achiaw; cut the sod for the commencement of the Wontumi Farms, owned by the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Bernard Antwi-Boasiako (Chairman Wontumi), at Asare Nkwanta, and Rockland Farms, a poultry farm owned by a young female entrepreneur, Ms Edith Akosah, all in the district.

He had also inspected work on the construction of the Kofiase-Mampong road.

Food importation

Apparently amazed at production levels at the North American Farms, which produce high quality maize which is resistant to the fall army worm, the President said it did not make sense for Ghana to continue to import food.

He said measures should be put in place to assist the farmer to own the right to replicate the high-yielding seed currently being imported from the US in order to populate it in Ghana.

The high-grade seed from the US yields seven tonnes per hectare, twice what is produced locally.

At Rockland Farms, the President applauded 40-year-old Ms Akosah, who left the US in 2012 to establish the farms, using her savings of about $200,000.

Ms Akosah appealed to the President to assist her to acquire a loan under the One-district, One-factory initiative to set up a modern processing plant and also expand her farm to include the rearing of Guinea fowls, following demand from Cote d’Ivoire.

President Akufo-Addo, in response to the appeal, advised her to submit a business plan to the Presidency for study.