…Touts His Achievements And Declares this is the “Biggest Ever Expansion Of Education In Ghana’s History”.
President John Dramani Mahama on Thursday, as constitutionally required, delivered his State of the Ntaion Address to Parliament and exhibited something remarkable; showing proof of what his administration had achieved in the educational sector.
Article 67 of the 1992 Constitution states: “The President shall, at the beginning of each session of Parliament and before the dissolution of Parliament, deliver to Parliament a message on the state of the nation.”
It was an occasion for the President to outline some of his accomplishments over the past three years.
Leaders of political parties, members of the Diplomatic Corps and a cross-section of Ghanaians were in Parliament House to listen to his delivery.
In his address, President Mahama indicated that the lives of some 54,800 children in 4 regions have been changed through various policies and interventions his government has put in place in the education sector.
According to him, 54,800 children in 4 regions have been enrolled into schools under the Compulsory Education program and free supplies of school uniforms, sandals and text books have been distributed.
He said Government has introduced two new programs in Education: Teacher Professional Development where the aim is to train 95% of teachers in Basic level by 2020.
He also reiterated Government’s intention of building one university in each region.
Meanwhile, he said six polytechnics have been shortlisted to be transformed into universities
He further disclosed that last June, his administration distributed 10,000 Made in Ghana sandals as part of his social interventions.
“Textbooks were printed in Ghana under government directive….1,400 new direct jobs were created as a result,” he said.
Still on Education, the president revealed that under the Provision of Teaching and Learning Materials, about 10,000 school supplies have been distributed 30,000 teachers trained in ICT.
He further stated that the over 200 community Day Schools being built will create 200,000 new places in the SHS system, “this is the biggest ever expansion of education in the entire history of Ghana,” he added.
On enrollment in tertiary education, he indicated that it has gone up 6.3% for university education and 8.9% for polytechnics, whiles 816 direct jobs have been created from the University of Health and Allied Science in Ho which government has set up and has admitted over 800 students.
President Mahama gave the assurance that Government is on course to build one university in each region whiles six polytechnics have been shortlisted to be transformed into universities.
He noted that the abolishing of qouta systems in teacher training colleges has increased enrollments.
“Government has removed allowances to teacher trainee students which has helped it to admit more students,” he added.
He further indicated government’s resolve to set up the first Islamic Teacher Training College.
On the health sector, President Mahama said “Our life expectancy was a little over 40 years at independence. Today, life expectancy has increased by more than 14 years. This increase is due to advances in medicine, improvements in health infrastructure and the improved number of health personnel.”
“Not only are we living longer in our adult years, more infants are living to see those years. According to the Ghana Demographic and health survey, there has been a drastic in the rate of infant mortality and under-five mortality. Over the last decade, under-five mortality decreased from 111 to 60 per thousand live births. Infant mortality dropped by almost 305 from 64 to 41 per thousand live births. The mothers of these children are also surviving during pregnancy and child birth because antenatal and post-natal care has improved.”
As a form of evidence to his achievement in the health sector, President Mahama mentioned Omar Mamud Moctar and Mercy who were present in the House on Thursday.
The President said Omar was a farm hand but through government intervention his dream to work as a health care professional has been realised. “This gentleman might probably save your life one day”.
Mercy, he said, was able to access healthcare because a modern polyclinic was built in her community where she delivered her twins.