By Anthony Apubeo/Jerry Azanduna, GNA
Bawku (U/E), Dec. 29, GNA – The Free Senior
High School Policy has increased enrolment in secondary schools by 69 per cent
within the last three years, Vice President Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia said.
“There was a lot of skepticism about whether
we could actually implement the free senior high school education, but with
conviction and determination we started it and today senior high school
enrolment has gone up by 69 per cent in just three years, it shows many people
would have been sitting at home.”
He said education was a necessity and a
major tool for sustainable national development and government was committed to
making it easily accessible and affordable to all Ghanaian children.
Vice President Bawumia said this as the
Special Guest of Honour at the Samanpiid Festival of the chiefs and people of
the Bawku Traditional Area, on the theme: “Harnessing the Economic, Social and
Cultural Heritage of our People for the Development of Kusaug”.
He admitted the infrastructure challenges
hampering the smooth implementation of the Policy, leading to the adoption of
the double track system and reiterated government’s commitment to addressing
“It has not been easy, we know we have to
build more structures so that we would be able to stop the double track system
and go into a single track system. But the double track, notwithstanding, it is
better for the children to be in school than to be sitting at home.”
As a result, he said, government was
undertaking a massive infrastructure investment in various senior high schools
across the country in a bid to provide the needed facilities to create
conducive environment for the children to learn.
He said: “At the heart of some of our
problems in the north in general is the issue of education. What is clear is
that no matter what we do, no matter our resources, if we do not build the
human capital, if we do not educate our children, then it will become difficult
to have accelerated development in our localities and our country.”
“However, one of our problems in sending our
children to school was the cost associated with senior high school education
and because of that many of our children could not go to school”.
Dr Bawumia said apart from the great
investment the Government was making in education, it was committing resources
to boost other critical areas of the economy that had the potentials to turn
the country’s fortunes for good.
He said through the Government’s flagship
programme; Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ), 1.4 million farmers across the
country benefitted from subsidised fertilizers, improved seeds and agriculture
Out of that number, 206,204 farmers were
from the Upper East Region and that had significantly led to abundant harvest
Vice President Bawumia noted, for instance,
that the production of maize increased from 46,000 metric tonnes in 2017 to
152,000 metric tonnes in 2019, adding; “We are building four warehouses in the
Region to be able to store these.”
He gave the assurance that all the 150 dams
would constructed by the end of 2020 to make water readily available for
farmers to undertake all year farming, especially in the dry season, to curb
migration and provide decent jobs for the youth.
He indicated that the north had been left
behind for a very long time and the Government was committed to implementing
pro-poor policies to enhance development and urged the citizens to support the
programmes for successful implementation.