Akufo-Addo: Free SHS has reversed decades of exclusion, enhanced access
The president says those who would have had their education truncated at JHS level now have the opportunity to further their studies.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says the introduction and implementation of the Free Senior High School policy has ensured that hundreds of thousands of young Ghanaian men and women who previously would have had their education truncated at the junior high school level now have the opportunity to further their studies.
According to President Akufo-Addo, the introduction and acceptance of the Free SHS policy, as promoted by his government, has expanded access to education dramatically, enabling young men and women from all corners of the country to go to senior high school.
“The policy has reversed decades of exclusion, which denied, on the average, 100,000 young men and women, annually, entry to senior high school education because of the poverty of their parents,” he said.
The president made this known on Saturday 29 May 2021, when the University of Cape Coast conferred an honorary doctorate in philosophy in educational leadership degree on him at a ceremony on the university campus.
Addressing the gathering, the president said that with the Free SHS policy, Ghana can now begin to reap the fruit of the talents of all its young people, as has been spectacularly demonstrated by the outstanding results of the first graduands under the policy in the most recent West African Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
“Of the 465 who obtained 8As in the exams, the ‘Akufo-Addo graduates’ from Ghana, as they have become known, were responsible for 411 of them,” Akufo-Addo said.
He continued, “Not only has access been widened, but quality has also been maintained, indeed, enhanced. The government is also ensuring that access to tertiary education is expanded, through the removal of the guarantor requirement that makes it difficult for some students to apply for loans through the Student Loans Trust Fund programme.”
This process of expansion of educational opportunity, he stressed, “has to be the bedrock of educational policy in the 21st century for our nation, if we are to make the rapid transformation of our social and economic lives we all seek”.