Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta has stated with statistics that over 180,000 students who ordinarily would have been denied access to senior high school have been enrolled into the various second cycle institutions across the country under the governments free senior high school policy.
This figure according to the finance minister is an addition to the numbers that enrolled in the 2017/2018 academic year.
Hon. Ken Ofori Atta Said this today while fulfilling his constitutional mandate of presenting the government’s budget statement in parliament.
‘Mr. Speaker let me say how pleased His Excellency the President is, that in 2018, 270,000 young Ghanaians (90,000 in 2017/2018 and 180,000 in 2018/2019) who would not have been able to access secondary education were able to attend to do so because of Free SHS. We cannot downplay how significant this is to build a future for every citizen of this land’, he emphasized.
In two years, the free senior high school policy according to government has whooped in an additional 270,000 who wouldn’t have gained access to the senior high school owing to financial constraints.
The budget statement which is the third of the Akufo-Addo administration has addressed very pertinent issues that have arisen over the course of time.
The government’s first ever budget, christened ‘Asempa budget’ read in March 2017 brought to light so many impacts from various sectors with some emphasis on the free senior high school education.
The Free SHS policy is in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs-4) Target One, which stipulates that: “By 2030, all boys and girls complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education, leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes”.
It also states that by 2030, all girls and boys will have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education, so that they are ready for primary education.
The Ghana Education Service (GES) released the placements of 423,134 students who successfully made it under the 2018 Computerized School Selection and Placement System (CSSPS).
The government rolled out the Free SHS policy in September 2017 in fulfillment of its campaign promise in the build-up to the 2016 general election.
The policy took a twist when the government changed the policy to introduce the double track system that would be able to accommodate the huge numbers.
The first batch of the double track system which is the green track have already ended their first term while the gold track batch just resumed after the green track ended.
But less than a year after its implementation, a number of challenges such as the non-availability of space forced the government to adopt a new mode of operation for second-cycle institutions – the double track system which took effect in September 2018.
By: Lutfata Sung-Bawiera/universnewsroom.com