Akufo-Addo explains why govt’s commitment to education is not just a moral obligation

Akufo-Addo explains why govt’s commitment to education is not just a moral obligation
Akufo-Addo explains why govt’s commitment to education is not just a moral obligation

Africa-Press – Ghana. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has as part of arrangements to commemorate the 67th Independence anniversary of the Ghana, honoured forty-six young, brilliant students who emerged as overall best students in the most recent Basic Education Certificate Examination.

For the first time in the history of the awards ceremony, ten out of the forty-six students were drawn from private schools with two visually impaired and two more with hearing impairments, being part of the overall national best students.

According to President Akufo-Addo, the forty-six award recipients “have all brought considerable joy and pride to their families, schools, communities and to themselves, and it is only appropriate that they receive the plaudits of the nation.”

Describing education as not merely a privilege, whilst asking for a reflection on the crucial role that education plays in shaping the destiny of our nation, he said, “we now know that it is a fundamental right that empowers individuals, transforms societies, and propels nations towards progress and development.”

That is why, “the commitment of the Akufo-Addo government is not just a moral obligation but a strategic investment in the intellectual capital that will drive our economy and innovation in the years to come. Our children are the architects of our future, and their success depends on the solid foundation of quality education.

With greater emphasis on the teaching of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, he said “over the last seven (7) years, we have done a significant amount of work to boost education at the primary school level. In September 2017, we introduced a new curriculum for kindergarten to junior high school, that reflects the realities of our aspirations. The reforms have focused on the 3 Rs; Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, and have laid greater emphasis on teaching of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S.T.E.M).”

This initiative, he continued, has enabled the institution of a national Standardized Test for numeracy and reading skills conducted at primary four and is strengthening the foundational skills of our young students, and generating interest in STEM education.

Other basic education interventions towards ensuring that all students are able to write the BECE, and not be thwarted by money, as had been the case for years for many, he stated that, government has also taken on the responsibility of absorbing BECE registration fees for all public-school students. The implementation of various programmes such as Capitation Grant, Feeding Grants to Special Schools, together with free BECE registration for pupils in public Junior High Schools, amongst others, have significantly increased access to education at the basic level.

He stated further, that, unrelentingly, even for those who still manage to slip out of the net, and miss going to school altogether or drop out at primary school, the Ministry of Education partnered with key development allies to launch an innovative financing programme called the Ghana Educational Outcome Project (GEOP).

“The goal of GEOP is to provide educational support to seventy-two thousand (72,000) out-of-school children, helping them access complementary education and transition into formal schools. I am happy to report that seventeen thousand, three hundred and forty (17,340) out-of-school children have been taken through the programme and mainstreamed into formal schools in 2023. This programme has worked so well it won the GOVTECH PRIZE award in February 2024, at the World Government Summit held in Dubai,” he disclosed.

Following a meeting between the Ministry of Education, the Ghana Education Service and the West African Examinations Council towards the clarification of the confusion on the position of Ghanaian languages at the basic school level, President Akufo-Addo explained that, “as has been the practice over the years, Junior High School students, who will be sitting for the BECE, will continue to be examined in at least one Ghanaian language. In other words, the choice of at least one (1) Ghanaian language will continue to be compulsory, that is one of the elective subjects”.

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