The implementation of the FSHS Policy has guaranteed education to a minimum of 1.3 million Ghanaian children, the highest such enrolment in our history, says President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
The President, however, admitted that there had been challenges associated with the implementation of the Free Senior High School (FSHS) Policy over the last six years.
In spite of the challenges, he said he was very proud of the policy and of the results so far.
Addressing the 70th anniversary celebration of Opoku Oware School (OWASS) in Kumasi on Saturday, the President assured that the government was doing all possible to address many of them and many more in the course of time.
“Yes, there have been challenges associated with the policy which the government is addressing substantially, many of them and there will be more in the course of time, such is the nature of social evolution…the challenges will be met,” he admitted.
The theme for the anniversary was “Seven decades of leadership through self-discipline”.
It was chaired by Justice Steven Alan Brobbey, an old student of OWASS and a former Supreme Court Judge, with the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, as the guest of honour and graced by the Metropolitan Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Kumasi, His Grace Most Rev. Gabriel Anokye, and the Education Minister, Dr Yaw Osei-Adutwum.
The programme also attracted old students (Akatakyie) from all over the globe, former headmasters and staff, politicians, government appointees, Members of Parliament and the public.
The President said in spite of the economic difficulties confronting the nation, government had devoted even more resources to the running of the FSHS Policy.
“From the budget of GH¢2.3 billion in 2022, 28.6 per cent increase has been applied to this year’s budget for FSHS Policy, i.e. GH¢2.96 billion,” President Akufo-Addo added.
He called on Ghanaians to ensure that the youth were educated to contribute effectively to national development.
According to him, all must work harder “to ensure that knowledge was the bedrock of the modern economy”.
“All of us must work harder to ensure that knowledge becomes the backbone of the modern economy and society we are trying to build in Ghana,” he said.
He added that Ghanaians had a collective responsibility to help guarantee access to quality education for all the youth of the country.
This, he said, was the surest way to achieving the vision of the progressive and prosperous Ghana that we are all yearning for.
“History and the experiences of developed nations have shown us that the most efficient way to create a society of opportunity and thereby guarantee the future of our nation is by investing in education and skills training of our youth.”
“This is because it is the people of Ghana, Ghanaians like you and I, and especially the youth today who are going to build Ghana. Without an educated populace, we cannot transition from the status of a developing to a developed nation,” he noted.
The chairperson urged the students to be self-discipline as that would assist them to achieve academic excellence and play important roles in the development of the nation.
Rev. Fr. Stephen Owusu Sekyere, Headmaster of Opoku Oware School, commended the old students (Akatakyie) for sacrificing their resources to assist the school in cash and kind.
He also expressed his gratitude to President Nana Akufo-Addo for resourcing the school with classrooms blocks.
He, however, appealed to the President to help complete a 21-classroom block and build a wall around the school to ward off encroachment.
The Education Minister commended the President for his commitment to transforming the fortunes of the country through education.