President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has called on Ghanaians to disregard attempts by critics to discourage the implementation of the Free Senior High School policy and support it.
He said the policy was one of the most important undertakings by his administration towards developing the human resource of the nation, and that the programme would receive unlimited support.
“We are marching forward with free SHS and we are not going back… My opponents, instead of supporting the initiative and joining hands, spend the whole time criticising it, it’s a pie in the sky… he cannot do it… he is deceiving Ghanaians'”, President Akufo Addo said.
The President said this when he interacted with students of the Nkwanta Senior High school in the Oti Region as part of a working visit of newly created regions.
He mentioned the increase in enrolment in schools and the relief the initiative had brought to parents, and asked opponents of the policy to desist from baseless criticism.
“Now, we have done it, they are shifting it. They say I should have waited for the entire infrastructure to be in place.
“Ghana is moving forward. All those people who want to draw us back, am saying, the Ghanaian people want to go forward. Forget it!” President Akufo-Addo said.
He said government was working to provide the needed school infrastructure with focus on dormitories and classroom blocks to end the double track system.
President Akufo-Addo later cut the sod for the construction of a 300 capacity girls’ dormitory, a six unit classroom block, and a six-seater toilet facility under GETFund for the school, with a promise to address other infrastructural challenges.
Mr Wisdom Annang, Headmaster of the School said the free SHS programme had increased enrolment in the school by 30.8 per cent, and had taken the burden of feeding off the shoulders of school management.
He said the School, which was established in 1975, now had a student population of 1,898, and appealed to the President to provide a boys dormitory, an assembly hall complex, and a school bus.
Mr Annang noted that the School had cultivated 11 acres of its one kilometre farm land, and would need a tractor to contribute its quota to the Planting for Food and Jobs programme.
President Akufo Addo said he was impressed with the emphasis; schools in Ghana placed on developing agriculture, and pledged to provide a tractor and a bus for the school as soon as possible.
He also said his administration would complete the dining hall complex abandoned by the previous government in 2011.