The introduction of the double track system for Senior High Schools (SHSs) in the 2018-2019 academic year will not destroy or disrupt the country's education system.
On the contrary, the system will reduce class sizes, increase contact hours between teachers and students, as well as increase the number of holidays.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo explained that the deployment of the double track system would however, not be applied to all Senior High Schools (SHSs) but to those whose capacity would be exceeded by the number of students admitted into them this academic year.
President Akufo-Addo said every bold new initiative that was rolled out produced hitches and challenges, and was inspired by the famous Chinese adage which said "A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step," adding that government had taken the first step and would deal with the challenges as they came, and that that it was government's desire and commitment that no child was left behind in attainment of at least, SHS level.
President Akufo-Addo was addressing the chiefs and people of Ada at the 80th Asafotufiami Festival on August 4, 2018.
Asafotufiami, an annual Warriors' festival celebrated by the Chiefs and people of Ada (Ada East and West Districts), is celebrated from the last Thursday of July to the first weekend of August every year. It is celebrated to commemorate the victories won on battles and also those who fell alongside on the battlefields.
The theme for the festival was Mobilizing Local Resources Towards Development and Growth of the Traditional Area.
President Akufo-Addo said his presence at the festival was to strengthen the relations between government and the Chiefs and people of Ada. According to the President, his government was committed to working harder to bring progress and prosperity to the nation.
President Akufo-Addo said he was unequivocally convinced that this generation could work together to create a prosperous nation with the effective exploitation of the country's natural resources to create economic opportunities for all. He said though the country's economy had not fully recovered, he was confident the nation was on the right part to prosperity.
In mobilizing the country's resources, he said government had begun to roll out its flagship programs - Free SHS, 1 District, 1 Factory project, and the program for Planting for Food and Jobs.
Under the 1 District, 1Factory Project, the President said, 36 factories were at various stages of being operationalized which would invariably, create thousands of direct and indirect jobs for the teaming unemployed youth in the country. He disclosed that the Lakyeami Soy Milk Factory, located at Asutwere in the Shai Osudoku District in the Greater Accra Region, had been inaugurated and fully functional.
President Akufo-Addo urged the Ada East and West Districts, as well as the Ada Traditional Council, to develop a strategic plan to exploit the vast potential resources of the area to improve on the local economy for the betterment for all. He referred to the Songor lagoon as a resource with the potential to produce salt in commercial quantities both for local use and for export.
Government, the President said, in collaboration with all stakeholders would work to ensure that the necessary investment was secured to develop the Songor lagoon into a modern salt industry. The successful implementation of the salt project, he noted, would ensure the creation of jobs for the people of Ada and generate the needed foreign exchange for national development.
At the last year's (2017) celebrations of Asafotufiami, the President received the news of the performance of Miss Anita Gyan, a young girl whose impressive poetry recitals stole the show of the day. As a result, she received a scholarship of some Ghc5000 from government to help in her education.
Again, through the Office of the Chief of Staff, Office of the President, Miss Anta Gyan had been selected as one of 10 School children, assisted by the Presidency to undertake an educational exchange program in China this month.
On roads, President Akufo-Addo gave the assurance that government would soon commence the construction of roads at the area which would include the completion of the Kasseh to Ada Foah road which had been partly done partly done. He said the roads, when completed, would improve and facilitate the carting of food produce to market centres.
The President urged farmers in the area to take advantage of the Panting for Food and Jobs, as agriculture was the nation's backbone in development.
Nene Jetse Abram Kabu Akuaku III, Paramount Chief and President of Ada Traditional Area, commended the President for his vision to make education affordable and accessible to all, especially with the implementation of the Free SHS.
He appealed to the President to intervene in the construction of two SHSs, one at Ada East and another West Districts, while on the development of the salt industry, the Paramount Chief said, a successful stakeholder consultation had been held which involved the Terkpebiawe Clan, Ada East and West District Assemblies at the area, and other relevant stakeholders to help draw a strategic plan or proposal to develop the natural resources of the area.
The Proposal, he said, was almost ready to be submitted to Government for its consideration as agreed.
The successful stakeholder consultation, the Chief said, had become possible as a result of President Akufo-Addo's appeal to them when they paid a courtesy call on him at the Jubilee House last year.
Source: ISD (Rex Mainoo Yebaoh)