Free SHS can lead to poverty reduction – Nii Kotei Dzani
The successful implementation of the government’s free Senior High School (SHS) policy should become a catalyst to the reduction of poverty in the lives of millions of Ghanaians, Nii Kotei Dzani, President of Groupe Ideal, a conglomerate of businesses.
“It is my fervent hope and belief that the smooth administration of this programme will lead to the reinvigoration of our educational sector, especially for the thousands of poor and vulnerable young people, whose educational aspirations now stand emancipated from the shackles of poverty, in order that their God-given talents will have a chance to flourish,” he said.
In a Facebook post to congratulate the government on a successful implementation of its flagship campaign promise, Mr. Dzani, who is also a member of the Council of State, noted that the history of the country richly demonstrates the power of free education to harness the creativity of the young people and to positively impact the growth of the economy and lead to development.
“Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah's free and compulsory basic education nurtured the unique gifts of many of our society's current leaders, without which their place in society would not have been assured.
Being a beneficiary of the benevolence of others in my educational journey, I know the power of Government's educational interventions to transform lives, and ultimately the economy,” he added.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, two days ago, launched the free SHS policy with the hope that it will lead to an equitable distribution of wealth among all Ghanaians while providing education to those who lacked it.
Noting that revenues generated from the nation’s natural resources will be used to fund the policy, which costs government GH¢484million in the first year, President Akufo-Addo, said: “we have chosen to invest in the future of our youth in our country. The most equitable and progressive way of using these revenues is to educate and empower our population to strengthen our nation.”
Admitting that the policy may face some challenges on the way, he maintained that his government will remain committed to the programme to ensure it does not fail.
Mr. Dzani urged the citizenry to support the government to make sure the policy succeed. “As citizens, we must support government's efforts, in any way we can, to see to the enduring success of this initiative.”
Donation to schools
He noted that to ensure the policy is working, he will be visiting select senior secondary schools in the Greater Accra Region to appraise himself on the implementation of the programme and to donate exercise books and other logistics to these select schools.
“I hope to offer a lot more of my support and assistance in any areas required of me. It is now the heritage of every Ghanaian to do likewise, for the future of our children is the future of our nation,” he added.
Under the policy, about 400,000 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) candidates who qualified for admission to SHS are expected to enjoy free tuition, textbooks, meals, library usage, admission, examination, uniforms and Student Representative Council (SRC) dues.