The Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, says Senior High School enrollment in the region has increased from 13,000 to 27,000 since the introduction of the Free Senior High School policy.
The Minister who said this while receiving 2,500 classroom furniture from the GNPC Foundation meant for 17 selected schools in the Western Region, commended the GNPC Foundation for providing the necessary financial and logistical support to the success of the Free SHS programme.
“I know that furniture is a very big deal for a lot of the schools. As a government, we have always believed in education. We believe that through education that opportunities will be opened for people to become prosperous. That is our philosophy, and it’s for that reason we decided that when it comes to the oil money, GNPC should set up a foundation to support the country. So if you are here, and you are getting a chair, it means that you are also enjoying the oil money.”
“Don’t think that because they didn’t come with oil in a gallon, this is not oil. It is the same oil money that we have supported free SHS with. It’s about 35 percent of GNPC’s budgetary allocation that supports free SHS. For the Western Region, we are lucky that SHS enrollment has increased from 13 thousand to 27 thousand since free SHS came into being. I will give you one typical school or one typical area in the Western Region which is Wassa East, Secondary School enrollment moved from 250 students to 2,600 students. That is the magic of free SHS and that’s the magic of the oil that’s taken from the Western REgion”, he said.
Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah aside from urging GNPC to continue its support to the Free SHS and other initiatives, also challenged heads of schools to take better care of the logistics donated.
“I believe as you take these chairs to your schools, all that we are asking is that manage them well because you might not know when the next batch will come…if you sit in your school, and you don’t manage your things well, someone will tell you that the teacher didn’t manage the things well so why are you complaining about the government. GNPC has done well for the country especially for the Western Region. With scholarships, we get the highest in Ghana”, he added.
The Head of Environment and Social Amenities at the GNPC Foundation, Madam Lubaabat Habib-Jawulaa, who presented the 2,500 pieces of furniture to the heads of schools on behalf of GNPC, said it is the Foundation’s commitment to aiding Ghana to achieve the SDG goal four.
“If students are comfortable enough, we know that it will encourage attendance and of course reduce congestion and improve better performance for our education. We believe education is the key to development and the attainment of the sustainable development goal-four also depends on quality education. So this [2,500 furniture] is the first in the whole of Ghana as the Western Region is our first port of call. This will go on in all the 16 regions”, she said.