President Akufo-Addo underscored the importance of the Free SHS policy, which was launched by the New Patriotic Party (NPP)-led Government in September 2017 to provide free access to second-cycle education.
Since its inception, the policy has made significant strides, breaking enrollment records during the 2017/18 academic year, with over 470,000 students enrolling in Senior High School. Presently, over 1.6 million youth have benefited from the Free SHS initiative.
President Akufo-Addo celebrated the policy's impact on West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) results, declaring the 2022 results as the best in the last eight years.
The 2020, 2021, and 2022 results marked the only instances in the past eight years when more than 50 percent of candidates obtained grades A1-C6 in all core subjects, including English Language, Integrated Science, Mathematics, and Social Studies.
The President reiterated the government's commitment to achieving Goal Four of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, ensuring equitable access to quality primary and secondary education for all children.
President Akufo-Addo praised teachers for their pivotal role in advancing the nation's educational agenda and affirmed the government's commitment to supporting them in their contributions to human resource development.
Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, Minister of Education, shared statistics showcasing significant educational progress achieved under the Akufo-Addo-led administration. In 2022, 38 percent of primary two pupils demonstrated reading proficiency, a substantial increase from the mere two percent recorded in 2015.
The Ghana Teacher Prize ceremony recognized teachers' transformative efforts in education and emphasized the support they require to unleash their full potential.
Faith Aku Dzakpasu, a teacher at the Great ‘D' Shepherd Two Basic School in the Ga Central District, Greater Accra Region, received the Most Outstanding Teacher award, including a three-bedroom house valued at GH₵450,000.
Distinguished teachers in various categories, such as Best KG School Teacher, Best Primary School Teacher, Best JHS School Teacher, and Best SHS Technical Teacher, also received honors and prizes.
The event showcased the significance of educators in shaping the future of education and acknowledged their dedication to the profession.
- Reporting by Stephen Asante: Editing by Adewale Adejoke