President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has given the firm assurance that work on the Eastern Corridor roads will resume before the end of the year.
The President said the contractors working on the road had received some funding to enable them to go back to work.
The President gave the assurance yesterday at a durbar organised in his honour by the chiefs and people of Dzolokpuita, near Ho, as part of his tour of the Volta Region.
He said the payment was part of a backlog that had been paid to contractors working on roads across the 16 regions of the country.
Free Senior High School
Earlier in an interaction with members of staff and students of Mawuli Senior High School (SHS) in Ho on the second day of his two-day working visit to the region, President Akufo-Addo reiterated that the educational investment being made in Ghana’s children was vital for the future of the country.
He said the development of the country’s human capital was what would enable the country to transition from its current state into one of progress and prosperity, and thereby lift the standard of living of every Ghanaian.
The President indicated that prior to coming into office, an average of 100,000 children, annually, could not transition from junior high school (JHS) to SHS because of financial constraints.
“We couldn’t progress as a nation if we continue the haemorrhage of our human capital: 100,000 children, on the average every year for over 10 years, means one million young Ghanaians would grow up with the knowledge that they have at the JHS level and that’s it? There’s no way our future could be bright,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo said his administration took the decision “right from the beginning that we were going to change the direction of our country, we were going to change the educational policy of our country and bring in the Free Senior High School, so that those 100,000 that could not be captured in Senior High, now they are captured.”
He added: “With 1.2 million students currently in SHSs across the country, 400,000 more than the total number of students enrolled before the onset of free SHS, this is the highest number of Ghanaian youths in SHS.”
Touching on the financing of the free SHS policy with the country’s oil revenues, he stated that: “I don’t have any regrets whatsoever about committing the oil revenues of our country to preparing our nation for the future. It is the best, most efficient, most equitable way all of us can participate in those revenues.”
President Akufo-Addo stressed that the oil revenues “are not there, sitting there, waiting for politicians like me to come and put their hands in oil revenues in their pockets, no. It is being used to prepare our nation for the future of our country. That’s the best way we can use the oil revenues.”
Knowledge and technology, according to the President, were what would determine the fate of nations in the 21st century.
“My modest contribution to the growth of Ghana is to make sure that we are not left out of the progress that is ahead of us in the 21st century,” he added.
President Akufo-Addo criticised politicians who felt that their political fortunes were threatened by the Free SHS.
He bemoaned the fact that “we have such politicians in Ghana. But that’s our lot. We will deal with it, that’s not a problem, we will deal with it.”
The President gave a warning for heads of SHSs and other principals who may want to undermine the Free SHS programme: “I can tell them that they will not succeed. They will not stand in the way of the future of our nation.”
Make use of Free SHS
The President urged the students of Mawuli SHS to make maximum use of their time in school, and equip themselves not only with classroom knowledge, but also with general knowledge.
With the first batch of Free SHS beneficiaries set to write the WASSCE next year, he said; “the eyes of the world will be on you. Make sure that you shame all the detractors of the Free Senior High School policy.
“I am confident that the young men and women I see here in Mawuli are going to rise to the challenge and shame the people who said that Free Senior High School is not a good idea,” he told the students.