21st May 2024

To give meaning to education in terms of its mantra of being the ‘key to development’, the government is putting measures in place, through several interventions, to make it more attractive and responsive to the needs of various stakeholders.

The latest in the initiative to sustain that feat is a donation of 1190 vehicles to boost transportation in the various senior high schools in the country. They include 350 buses and 840 pickup vehicles to schools that did not receive vehicles in 2016.

This was disclosed by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Sunday when he addressed the nation on ‘Ghana’s Enhanced Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic’ for the 12th time.

Pickups to GES

The current presentation follows another set of vehicles presented to the Ghana Education Service (GES) in March this year.

In March, the government, through the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund), presented 365 double cabin Isuzu pickups and 493 motorbikes to the GES and other agencies under the Ministry of Education.

The vehicles, according to Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia, who did the presentation on behalf of the government, “is a continuous demonstration of government’s commitment to ensuring that logistics are available to institutions for their efficiency and effective administration.”

All 260 district education offices were allocated a pickup each and a number of motorbikes for circuit supervisors.

The vehicles, according to stakeholders in the education sector, arrived timely as education directors, particularly of the newly-created districts, had decried the absence of vehicles and motorbikes for operational purposes.

“It’s the expectation of government that these vehicles will go a long way to promote quality supervision in our schools to ensure improved learning outcomes,” the Vice President remarked at the time.

WASSCE/BECE fees

The government, for the first time in the nation’s history, has also decided to absorb the examination fees of the 313,837 SHS 3 students who will sit for the West Africa Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE). According to the President, GH¢75.4 million will be spent on this.

“These SHS 3 students, also referred to by some as the ‘Akufo-Addo graduates’, are the first group of beneficiaries of Government’s Free Senior High School policy to sit the WASSCE exams. [These constitute] over 1.2 million children, the highest such enrolment in our nation’s history, because of this policy, are currently in senior high schools,” the President said in his address.

The government, since 2017/18 academic year, promised and has committed to paying Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) registration fees for all candidates.

In 2018, the registration fee of GHc 75, per candidate in both private and public schools, were absorbed. This year, the registration fee of GHC88 for each candidate has also been absorbed by the government.

Students’ safety

Meanwhile, the President has assured parents and guardians of the 800,000 students, teachers and non-teaching staff who started returning to school yesterday, amidst the presence of the novel coronavirus, that the government has already put in place adequate measures to protect their lives.

“I will be the last person to put the lives of the ‘Akufo-Addo graduates’ at risk. It bears repeating that they must all adhere strictly to enhanced personal hygiene and social distancing protocols, regularly wash their hands with soap under running water, refrain from shaking hands, and wear masks to protect themselves and others. These rules apply to all of us,” he said.

 

 

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