The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says the rehabilitation of existing schools and the construction of new ones are continuing across the country, all with the purpose of strengthening the delivery of quality, basic education. Speaking at the 50th anniversary celebration of the Lawra Senior High School, on Saturday, 10th November, 2018, President Akufo-Addo noted that with ingenuity and innovation, his Government, through the Ghana Education Trust Fund, has secured a $1.5 billion facility to help develop infrastructure in schools in the country. “Once parliamentary approval is obtained, the first tranche of this facility will be used to build more classroom blocks and dormitories in our schools to give our schools appropriate facilities to meet the demands of the 21st century,” the President said. President Akufo-Addo assured that Government would continue to support Lawra SHS and all other senior high schools across the country, to deliver quality education. Touching on the challenges of the school, President Akufo-Addo told the gathering of his directive to the Upper West Regional Security Council to liaise with the District Security Committee, the Lawra Traditional Council and the land owners to address the issue of the boundaries of Lawra SHS, paving the way for the completion of the school’s wall. “On the occasion of the school’s 50th Anniversary, I want to announce that I have set in motion procurement processes, under the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund), for the construction of a new Assembly Hall Complex for Lawra Senior High School to mark this event,” he added. To Naa Puowele Karbo III, Paramount Chief of the Lawra Traditional Area, the President indicated that Brifo Senior High School, which falls under his jurisdiction, is being converted into a Model School, with the construction of dormitories, a library, an administration block, a science laboratory and a dining hall. “Again, Lawra has been chosen as one of the twenty (20) locations for the establishment of state-of-the-art Technical, Vocational and Education Training (TVET) centres in the country. And, finally, in fulfillment of my campaign pledge to complete projects initiated by the predecessor government, I am happy to announce that Government is in the process of completing the Boo-Dowine SHS block,” he added. Re-emphasizing the importance of education to the development of the nation, he indicated that against the odds and against the wishes of the naysayers and political ‘Jeremiahs’, Government introduced the Free Senior High School policy in September last year. “In 2017, the first year of its implementation, ninety thousand (90,000) more students gained access into Senior High School than in 2016. In 2018, one hundred and eighty thousand (180,000) more students have been admitted into Senior High School,” the President said. He continued, “Let us pause for a moment to consider what would have happened to the two hundred and seventy thousand (270,000) more students, who have entered Senior High School between 2017 and 2018, without this policy in place.” Government, President Akufo-Addo noted, is aware of the teething challenges confronting the Free SHS policy, and has addressed substantially many of them. “If it has taken the introduction of Free SHS to encourage some of the media and other commentators, and, recently, members of the opposition, who were in power for most of this decade, to find and, at times, exaggerate the problems that bedevil our schools, I simply take it as one more reason to cheer the Free SHS,” he added.
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