President Akufo-Addo (5th left) Akosua Frema Osei-Opare (5th right), Dr. Yaw Adutwum (4th right) and WASSCE students in a photograph. Picture by Gifty Ama Lawson.
Some beneficiaries of the Free Senior High School implemented by the Akufo-Addo-led New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration scored high marks, making Ghana the country with the top best performance in last year’s West Africa Examination Council (WASSCE) for Senior High Schools (SHS).
This came to light when President Akufo-Addo received eight out of these 411 top-performing Free SHS students who graduated with 8As in the exams.
They included Godfred Aseda Obeng who attended Hope College Senior High; Asamoah Yeboah, St James Seminary; Isaac Kofi Gyamfi, Presbyterian Boys, Legon; and Benedicta Dontoh, Abena Amoakoa Bekoe, Naa Amarley and Afia Sefakor Akpalu, and Emmanuela Azeka, from Wesley Girls’ High School.
While commending the students, President Akufo-Addo said out of the 465 students who scored 8As in the WASSCE last year, 411 were from Ghana, representing 88% of all WASSCE students with 8As.
The 2020 Free SHS batch was the only year group that 50% of Ghanaian students scored A1 to C6 in all core subjects that were written.
Addressing Free SHS graduates who have now come to be known as ‘Akufo-Addo graduates’ at the Jubilee House last Friday, the President said Ghanaians are proud of their achievements, even though they wrote the examination under difficult circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For him, this goes to shame critics of the Free SHS policy who said all manner of things about it, with some literally prophesying a failure for beneficiaries.
“We are going to monitor how far you are going and how well you are going to study. I want you to know that you have the support of a very grateful President,” he assured the brilliant students.
He, therefore, reiterated his government’s commitment to invest more in the education sector to improve the quality of education in the country.
He said all successful countries made deliberate and conscious efforts to invest in free education few decades ago and said if Ghana is to move faster, there was the need to commit more resources to ensure access and quality of education like the advanced countries did.
He said Africa currently has about 30 per cent of the world’s remaining minerals and a third of the arable lands in the world, and added that those resources alone would not change the economic fortunes of the continent unless massive investments were made in education.
The Minister of Education, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, also commended the students and said the Akufo-Addo administration has made more investments aimed at improving the quality and expanding access to education.
He was of the belief the huge investments in the Free SHS resulted in significant improvements in the overall performance of the country in the WASSCE.
By Charles Takyi-Boadu