The Vice President, Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, has observed that the introduction of the Free Senior High School (FSHS) policy has improved the performance of students.
According to him, contrary to the legitimate concerns among parents and commentators, prior to the introduction of the programme that it was going to compromise quality for quantity, “what we are seeing is rather an improvement in the performance of the students and not a decline.”
He said, instead, there is an improvement in the performance of the students because the aggregate passes in the core WASSCE subjects was 64 percent in 2022, compared to 41 percent at the end of 2016.
Dr. Bawumia said when the NPP mooted the idea of the FSHS, the naysayers said it was not possible, but the flagship programme has added 600,000 students in just six years after it started, compared to the 800,000 SHS students the country had produced over a period of 60 years, which is between independence and 2016.
Addressing the 80th anniversary celebration of the Effiduase Senior High Commercial School (EFFISCO) as the Special Guest of Honour, at Effiduase, in the Sekyere East District of Ashanti region on Saturday, Dr. Bawumia said it is the commitment of the NPP-led government to do more for the youth of the country, which is the reason the government continues to absorb the BECE and WASSCE examination registration fees for all eligible candidates.
The Vice President, who is also the presidential candidate of the ruling NPP, said the government is also investing heavily in practical training skills for the youth of the country, through the free TVET, which is unmatched in the political history of the country, and has also built more public libraries than any other government in the history of Ghana.
He said public libraries in the country at the end of 2016 stood at 61, but the NPP government has added another 54 public libraries within six years to make a total of 115 libraries, which is an increase of 88 percent.
On STEM education, the Vice President said the government has built ten STEM schools so far, to propel the country into an industrial revolution and that six of the schools are ready to enrol students this academic year to study robotics, artificial intelligence and aerospace engineering among others.
He said “There cannot be digitalization without the tools in the hands of the students to digitalize,” therefore, there is a government policy to start distributing laptops to all students of Senior High Schools in the country, from 2024.
Mrs. Peace Owusu-Bediako, the Headmistress of the school, disclosed that EFFISCO has benefited tremendously from infrastructure development from the government, under the FSHS system, and hoped that the beneficiaries of the programme would become transformational leaders and critical thinkers in the near future.
She said the theme for the 80th anniversary of the school is: ‘Vision, Resilience and Excellence,’ was apt and said that giving the theme “a philosophical twist would be an academic dishonesty for any living soul in Ghana to downplay the tremendous benefits of this flagship policy of the NPP-led administration,” with reference to EFFISCO.