President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said although the government’s free senior high school (SHS) programme is faced with logistics and infrastructure challenges, he is confident that the difficulties will be surmounted to ensure the success of the initiative.
He said the challenges with the implementation of the free SHS programme, like any novelty, were normal but would be dealt with in the course of time.
The President said this when the Bawku Naba, Asigri Abugurago, led a delegation of chiefs from Bawku to pay a courtesy call on him at the Flagstaff House in Accra on Thursday.
The visit was reciprocal to the one made by the President to the Bawku area after assuming office.
“There are difficulties with the programme — there are difficulties with logistics, infrastructure in the schools, classrooms, dormitories and science labs — but everything new, when it starts, has problems, but if you don’t start, you can’t progress,” the President said.
He said the most important thing was the first step that was taken in the implementation of the programme, adding: “We have taken the first step. The issues about infrastructure and logistics we are going to deal with them, and we are going to deal with them because we have started the programme.”
He debunked the assertion that the free SHS promise was made for the sake of political expediency, saying it was for national development.
“It’s not being done for politics; it’s not being done for votes but it’s being done for the development of our country,” he said.
The import of free SHS
The President said the free SHS programme had become most crucial because in today’s world JHS education lacked relevance and that there was the need to ensure that everyone had the chance to attend SHS.
He said the impact of the policy was that 90,000 more students were in school this year than they were last year.
President Nana Akufo-Addo said the government was going to continue with the programme because traditional leaders had asked him to continue, for which reason he was counting on their support to succeed.
“There are challenges, but in the end we will resolve them together,” he said.
He also expressed concern over the peace in Bawku and its surrounding areas, saying it was very important for all to understand that no one derived any benefit from conflict and instability.
“What we need to do is recognise the things we have to do to make sure that the peace is maintained and developed.
“It is important that all sides continue to exercise restraint and comport themselves, so that the peace that we are seeing today in Bawku can continue,” he said.
Focusing on development of Bawku
“The decision that has been made to create a district out of Timpane is already taken and the processes are going on. Anytime from now the Minister of Local Government will announce the formal constitution of Timpane,” he said.
Touching on government programmes, the President said the reason the Planting for Food and Jobs initiative would work was that the government had decided to support the work of farmers.
“That’s why we are supplying improved seedlings and fertiliser at subsidised prices. But you know that when something good is happening, there are always a group of mischievous people with criminal minds who would want to use the good thing just for their selfish interests,” he said.
President’s policies commendable
The Chief of Bawku and President of the Bawku Traditional Council, Naba Asigri Abugurago, said the President’s promise during the campaign period not to meddle in chieftaincy matters cemented the relationship between the people of the area and his (President’s) administration.
He was appreciative of the fact that works were continuing on projects that were started by the previous administration, describing that development as “wonderful”.
Source: Graphic Online