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SONA2024: 9 key points Akufo-Addo made on education and youth development

President Nana Akufo-Addo has highlighted the government's unwavering commitment to education and youth development.

Key points Akufo-Addo  made on education and youth development

During his State of the Nation address in Parliament on Tuesday, February 27, the President emphasized the pivotal role education plays in building a prosperous nation and outlined several initiatives aimed at transforming the education sector.

Here are nine key points from his address on education and youth development.

President Akufo-Addo defended the Free Senior High School (SHS) program, dismissing it as more than a political slogan. He described it as a transformative initiative that has shattered myths and liberated minds, providing access to formal education for a multitude who might have halted their education journey at the Junior High School level due to financial constraints.

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Addressing concerns about a potential lowering of educational standards, the President proudly announced that the 2023 batch of Free SHS students achieved the best West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) results in a decade, putting to rest any doubts about the program's effectiveness.

President Akufo-Addo emphasized that education extends beyond Free SHS, highlighting the government's equal attention to Kindergarten, Primary School, and Junior High School. Comprehensive reforms, including the Capitation Grant and Feeding Grants, aim to strengthen the foundation for future education.

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The President detailed the success of the Ghana Educational Outcome Project, an innovative financing program targeting out-of-school children. Over 17,000 children have been reintegrated into formal schools, earning the program recognition with the prestigious GOVTECH PRIZE at the World Government Summit in Dubai.

Acknowledging the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education, President Akufo-Addo outlined initiatives such as the overhaul of the curriculum to include STEM Career Pathways and the construction of STEM Schools and Centers across the country.

The government continues to implement key reforms in the TVET sector, expanding the Free Senior High School program to include students in public TVET institutes, aligning with the country's industrialization agenda.

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While acknowledging progress in infrastructure development, the President recognized the need for more classrooms and suitable environments for learning. The upcoming launch of the one-tablet-per-student policy at the Senior High School level aims to bridge the gap between disadvantaged and privileged students.

President Akufo-Addo highlighted the government's commitment to breaking down financial barriers for tertiary education. The "No Guarantor" policy under the Student Loan Trust Fund has empowered economically disadvantaged students to pursue higher education without financial burden.

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In response to the increased demand for tertiary education, the government plans to establish four new universities in Mampong, Akrodie, Bunso, and Kintampo. These initiatives align to achieve a 40% Gross Tertiary Enrolment Ratio by 2030, as outlined in the Education Strategic Plan of 2018 to 2030.

President Nana Akufo-Addo concluded his address by reaffirming the government's commitment to the continuous improvement of the education sector, urging stakeholders to focus on finding ways to enhance existing programs for the benefit of the nation's youth.

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