Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has touted government’s achievements in the education sector, citing substantial transformation and improved educational outcomes.
He observed that the sector faced significant challenges with lack of the requisite investment when the New Patriotic Party (NPP) assumed office in 2017.
However, the NPP administration, responded to the situation with deliberate investments and transformative policies aimed at providing quality education to all Ghanaian children.
Speaking at the opening session of the 56th congress of the National Union of Ghana Students at the University of Cape Coast, Dr Bawumia said with 5,411 classroom projects, the government had constructed the largest number of classrooms under the Fourth Republic.
He said it had also constructed more public libraries than any other government in Ghana’s history, increasing the number of public libraries by 88 per cent from 61 in 2017 to 105 by 2022.
The Vice President reiterated that the Free Senior High School policy had transformed the educational landscape of the country.
He averred that Free SHS had increased access to secondary education and improved the retention rate as more students could complete secondary education without financial constraints.
“Free SHS has bridged the access gap to quality secondary education and increase enrolment from 800,000 in 2016 to 1.4 million, a 75 per cent increase in six years,” he noted.
“We firmly believe that education is the great equaliser and by providing access to quality education, we are creating a level playing field for all Ghanaian children,” he added.
Despite the high numbers and contrary to the observation of many stakeholders in the sector, Dr Bawumia noted that the performance of students had improved significantly.
“The poor performance that we saw in 2015 with 41 per cent aggregate passes in the core subjects in WASSCE, increased to 64 per cent in 2022,” he cited.
The Vice President also pointed to government’s investment in Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) to equip the youth with future-proof skills.
He said 32 modern TVET centres were under construction in addition to the inaugurated Ghana TVET Service aimed at enhancing and promoting skills development in the country.
Dr Bawumia maintained that Ghana was making steady progress in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in readiness of the fourth industrial revolution.
He said government had constructed and operationalised five STEM SHSs and in addition, introduced the annual interschool STEM and innovation competition for SHS and TVET schools called STEMNOVATION.
“Following the digitalisation at the scholarship secretariat, everyone is able to apply for scholarships and receive same in the comfort of his or her home via online applications,” he stated.
“We are also providing free WiFi to 700 or so Senior High Schools, 46 colleges of education, 260 education offices and an initial pilot of 13 public universities,” he added.
With the colleges of education, the Vice President said there had been significant growth over the years, indicating their ability to now award degrees.
“Our commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4 which strives to ensure inclusive and quality education for all is evident in our continuous efforts to expand educational opportunities and enhance learning outcomes,” Dr Bawumia stressed.
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