President Nana Akufo-Addo has said a total of 962 structures are being constructed in all Senior High Schools across the country to address infrastructural challenges. According to the President, the government has put in place an elaborate program to ensure that the many problems faced by second cycle schools as a result of the introduction of the Free SHS are addressed. Speaking at the 68th Speech and Prize Giving Day ceremony of the Opoku Ware Senior High School in Kumasi, Nana Akufo-Addo said the government will continue to invest heavily in education.
“We are investing heavily in infrastructure, particularly in our double track schools. Here at Opoku Ware School, for example, Government has already completed the construction of a twelve-unit classroom block, which I understand is currently in use, together with the provision of 1,500 sets of tables and chairs. Government is constructing a new four-storey dormitory block, work on which is progressing steadily. In total 962 structures are being constructed in schools across the country,” President Akufo-Addo said.
With 1.2 million children currently enrolled in senior high schools across the country, the President explained that the expansion in access, automatically, brought with it a problem of infrastructure which necessitates the implementation of various infrastructural projects to meet the demands. President Akufo-Addo told the gathering that the problem of addressing the infrastructure deficit “was an excellent and exciting one because more children wanting to go to school beyond Junior High School was good news.”
He continued saying: “Our position is that every child who qualifies to be in Senior High School must be given the opportunity to do so.” The provision of access to 1.2 million children, he said, has entailed innovation in the usage of the resources available, and “it is out of this that the idea of the double-track system was born, a system that has worked well in many other jurisdictions.”
By implementing the double-track system, President Akufo-Addo said Government has been able to ensure the best possible use of the space and assets available in schools, throughout the year. “Schools, that operate the double-track system, have increased their SHS 1 intake by up to fifty percent (50%) of their usual capacity. This has given many young students a better opportunity to enter our elite schools, such as Opoku Ware, than was previously the case”, he added.
President Akufo-Addo further added that every district, municipal and metropolitan directorate of education will receive a pick-up vehicle to help them in their work and enable them to deliver quality education. “I assure all of you that Government will deal with the issues as they arise, and ensure that we continue to invest in the education and skills training of our young people, as the investment represents the best hope for the social and economic future of our country,” the President added.