I am grateful to the president for highlighting education- Education Minister

Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, the Minister of Education, Tuesday said he was grateful to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for highlighting education in the State of Nation Address (SONA) to Parliament.

Date Created : 2/28/2024 12:00:00 AM : Story Author : Elsie Appiah-Osei/

He said: "There has been a great accomplishment in the education sector...I understand why he (President) spent so much time on it."

"So I am grateful to the president for highlighting education," the Education Minister said.

Dr. Adutwum, also the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Bosomtwe, said this when he reacted to the SONA address by the President during an interview in Parliament House, Accra.

He said, currently, the government was looking at Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education not only at the Senior High Schools (SHS) but also at the Junior High Schools (JHS) with the belief that stakeholders were raising a pipeline that would train and retrain STEM professionals the country needed to succeed on the 21st century.

He said that the Free Senior High School Free (SHS) Policy was also a laudable initiative of the government that gave equal educational opportunities to the unreached.

"Over 500,000 students enrolled in Form One, a record that has never happened before.

"Currently we have over 1.4 million students in SHS," Dr Adutwum said.
President Akufo-Addo in his address on the Floor of Parliament touted the relevance of the Free SHS Policy.

He said despite the demonisation of the Policy by his government’s detractors, the initiative had been transformative, broken myths and liberated minds.

"Mr. Speaker, I believe the success of the Free SHS has answered its critics and the arguments about it should cease, and we should simply concentrate on finding ways to improve it. I am particularly glad that the fears about lowering standards have been allayed. Refreshingly, we witnessed, through the 2023 batch of Free SHS students, the best WASSCE results in a decade," he said.

According to President Akufo-Addo, "It is humbling on the one hand and frightening on the other, to think of the sheer number of talents that Free SHS has unearthed that would otherwise have ended their formal education at BECE. I know we will get more engineers, doctors, architects, scientists, writers and poets out of the increased numbers of those attending Senior High School, who will go on to further education."

He told Parliament that even if the Free SHS beneficiaries were unable to further their education, Ghana would benefit from the skills they acquired.

"…Mr. Speaker, imagine what a million more Secondary School educated young people will do to our self-confidence and the value of our workforce. That, alone, makes Free SHS worthwhile. I am proud that the NPP government, under my leadership, has been able to bring this transformative policy into our education system," the President said.

Article 67 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, states that the President shall deliver a message on the SONA to Parliament at the start of each session and before the dissolution of Parliament.

It also imposes an obligation on Members of Parliament (MPs), the Speaker of Parliament and the Judiciary to receive the President’s SONA.

SONA is a constitutional obligation and yearly tradition, wherein the Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces reports on the status of the country, unveils the government's agenda for the coming year, and proposes to Parliament certain legislative measures.