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#SONA2024: Let’s find ways to improve Free SHS – Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has called for a comprehensive solution to address the teething challenges associated with the Free Senior High School policy.

The government’s educational policy has faced various difficulties, with the opposition National Democratic Congress and other stakeholders demanding a review.

The flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has promised to enhance the free SHS policy if he is elected in the 2024 polls.

In his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on February 27, President Akufo-Addo said the success of the Free SHS policy has silenced its critics, and urged for concrete solutions to improve it.

“Mr Speaker, I believe the success of the Free SHS has answered its critics, and the arguments about it should cease, and we should simply concentrate on finding ways to improve it. I am particularly glad that the fears about lowering of standards have been allayed. Refreshingly, we witnessed, through the 2023 batch of Free SHS students, the best WASSCE results in a decade.”

He described the Free SHS policy as a “transformative programme” that has shattered myths and liberated minds.

“Mr Speaker, Free SHS might be labelled by its detractors as a mere political slogan that must be demonised, but it is, in fact, a transformative programme that has broken myths and liberated minds. It is humbling on the one hand and frightening on the other, to think of the sheer number of talents that Free SHS has unearthed that would otherwise have ended their formal education at BECE.

“I know we will get more engineers, doctors, architects, scientists, writers and poets out of the increased numbers of those attending Senior High School, who will go on to further education. Even if they stop at Senior High School, imagine what a million more Secondary School educated young people will do to our self-confidence and the value of our workforce. That, alone, makes Free SHS worthwhile.”

 

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