Winkogo — PPresident Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has stated that from September this academic year all Senior High School (SHS) students in the country, beginning from form one, two and three would benefit from the Free SHS policy.
The President, who made the remark when he addressed teachers and students of the Bolgatanga SHS at the Winkogo community in the Talensi District of the Upper East Region on Tuesday, stated that no nation could develop without it first of all developing its human capital.
He stated that, he would not allow the oil money to go into the pockets of politicians and civil servants, but would rather ensure that it is utilised judiciously for the implementation of the Free SHS policy.
"You cannot develop a country unless you develop the human capital. It is for this reason that the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) under my watch has made the development of the human capital one of its pillars for development," the President stressed.
He said it is expected that more than 1.2 million students throughout the country would be enrolled into SHS under the policy when all the form one, two and three students are made to benefit from the policy come September this academic year.
"This has never happened under any government before and it will go up by 48 per cent. This Free SHS policy has come to stay. Those criticising this policy belong to a different world and we belong to today's world. They dreamt in 2016 that this will not come through and they are still dreaming today," he indicated.
The President who expressed optimism that the results of those under the policy would prove the skeptics wrong when they write the final WASSCE, stated that the government within the two and half years was laying the foundation down for physical and social infrastructure such as health, education, agriculture and good governance.
He pointed out that the creation of the new regions was aimed at improving the governance structures by bringing government to the doorsteps of the people to encourage them participate actively in the decision making process of the nation.
He appealed to the chiefs and people in the region to renew their mandate for the NPP government, come the 2020 general elections, to enable it implement more projects and policies to help improve upon the livelihoods of the people.
The Minister of Education, Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, stated that within 2014 -2016, the total population of enrolment of students under the SHS system was about 80,000 throughout the country, but had now gone up to 800,000 with the introduction of the Free SHS intervention.
He said the girl-child was benefiting more from the policy and discounted the statement raised by others that with the double track system, the contact hours of students and teachers had gone down.
He stated that apart from revamping the Buffer Stock Company to supply foodstuff to students under the Free SHS policy, the government had also provided core text books, remuneration to teachers among others to help in the implementation of the policy.