The Minister for Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, has said the introduction of the Free Senior High School policy has resulted in an increment in student enrolment by 31%, as opposed to 100,000 students falling out of school each year at the Junior High School level in the years before 2017.
Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh indicated that all secondary school students have been supplied with all the core textbooks, adding that the government has also supplied revision books in Mathematics to all schools in the country.
The Minister for Education made this known on Monday, when he joined President Akufo-Addo at a meeting with members of the Ghanaian community in Paris, as part of the latter's official visit to that country.
Dr. Opoku Prempeh indicated that when the Northern grants were established by Ghana's first leader, Kwame Nkrumah, there were only two schools in the whole of the 3 Northern Regions.
"It did not prevent Kwame Nkrumah from starting bursaries for the Northern schools. Not having enough classrooms will never stop us from having Free SHS. In fact, Ghanaians have voted, and enrolment increased by 31% in 2017 and 2018," he said.
To address issues associated with the introduction of the Double Track school system, the Minister indicated that 8,000 teachers were specifically employed.
"We did the timetables that we needed, and the President ordered the Finance Minister to provide financial clearance, and we did. It includes the 59,000 teachers we have employed between now and then. It is not very true what you hear when you listen to social media always. Sometimes your judgement becomes clouded with the truth," he added.
With the introduction of the 4-year Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) degree in 2018, in the country's University Colleges, the Education Minister noted that "there is no teacher going to be a diploma teacher. Everyone who is coming out will get a degree."
The conversion of Colleges of Education into University Colleges, the Minister stressed, has resulted in a record number of students seeking admission.
"When they were diploma students, they spent an inordinate amount of time doing top-ups in other schools, and not concentrating in the classroom. Now, it is not a second-rate school to go to because they couldn't get into university. It is a choice that they have decided to make as teachers," he said.