The academic year for 2018/19 for senior high schools began in September, 2018 with a semester system. Apparently, the over 470,000 students were the second batch of President Akufo-Addo’s Free SHS Programme. In double-track schools, students in the Green Track started on 10th September, 2018 and spent 41 days in school. On the 10th of November, 2018, the Gold Track students also resumed and are expected to spend 81 days in school. There was a break for the students due to the Christmas festivities, but last, Saturday, 5th January, 2019, both the Green and Gold Track students met for the first time. They are now fraternising and getting to know more about each other until February 28, 2019 which would mark the end of the 1st Semester of double-track students.
Currently, the single track schools, together with, the SHS 2 students have ended their 1st Semester and are enjoying their holidays until the 1st of March, 2019, where they report to school for the 2nd Semester. I am sure parents won’t let them lie idle in the house, but rather, register them for other private vacation classes to keep the kids in shape. The final year students, on the other hand, were also back to school last Saturday, 5th January, 2019 and would remain in school until they are done with their WASSCE. They are also going to take advantage of the academic intervention offered by the government.
It worthy to note that, as part of the Free SHS policy, the government of Ghana under His Excellency, President Akufo-Addo is giving every beneficiary of the Free SHS programme, a gargantuan package. The package stems from the provision of 9 exercise books, 4 notebooks, 4 core textbooks, 1 supplementary reader/3 core literature books, 2 sets of school uniform, 2 sets of house dress, set of school cloth, to 1 set of P.E. kit.
Notwithstanding, government is paying teachers’ salaries and motivation fees, building infrastructure and providing logistics; it is also taking care of recurrent fee items as well as feeding and medical examination. This, no doubt, shows how serious and passionate the President and his educational lieutenants have taken education of the Ghanaian child.
From the above, it is obvious the government, as a key stakeholder, is playing its role in eliminating poverty among Ghanaians through education. The students, teaching and non-teaching staff are also playing their part. The question then is; what are you doing as a responsible parent to ensure that, your ward comes out of school very reformed in terms of knowledge, discipline and skills? This is the mystery for all parents to unravel.
Fellow beneficiary parent, today, your daughter/son needs your financial, material and moral support to succeed. It is imperative we complement the government’s efforts in making the programme, a success. We can do this by buying extra reading materials on the Elective Subjects; we can do this by buying the kids some provisions – tins of Milo, milk, etc; we can do this by buying ladies’ stuffs for our girls and giving them physical cash. Finally, you can collaborate with school authorities to ensure full preparation for your final year student in view of the impending WASSCE.
For me, and as a parent with two daughters benefiting immensely from the Free SHS programme, I have used part of the money ‘put in my pocket’ by the President as a result of the absorbed fees to buy extra books and provisions for my ward in SHS 1. I am also going to register my other ward in SHS 2 for the private vacation classes. This is because, these young kids are my future and I believe it is better to invest heavily in them now than ever.
On this note, I appeal to all beneficiary parents to help sustain the Free SHS programme, for, it is the only major policy that has the tendency to unlock Ghana’s potentials.
God bless Ghana!
God bless Free SHS Students!!
God bless President Akufo-Addo!!!
Katakyie Kwame Opoku Agyemang
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