President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said the government is formulating a policy to ensure that teachers own houses before they retire.
The policy, he said, tied into the general reforms in the educational sector, where the teacher was at the centre of the transformation agenda.
The President said this at the 70th-anniversary celebration of Prempeh College in Kumasi, Ashanti Region, last Saturday.
The anniversary was on the theme: “Celebrating 70 years of exceptional excellence in education in Ghana”.
Among prominent Ghanaians who attended the event were former President John Agyekum Kufuor, the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II; a former Finance Minister, Dr Kwabena Duffuor; a former Minister of Food and Agriculture and Mr Kwamena Ahwoi.
According to the President, “the government is committed to ensuring quality and relevant education that will produce confident, skilled and global citizens who are digital-technology ready and able to compete with their counterparts anywhere in the world”.
He said the government was addressing the challenges associated with the implementation of the free senior high school (SHS) policy, including the provision of infrastructure.
He said about 9,072 structures, comprising classrooms, dormitories and other facilities, were being built across the country to help accommodate the rising number of students entering SHS in order to phase out the double-track system.
Also, a total of 1,119 vehicles, 350 of them buses, were being distributed to schools across the country, he added.
On the colleges of education (CoEs), he said, 134 hostels were being constructed in the 46 CoEs in the country to increase access under a ‘teacher first policy’.
“Free SHS has come to stay; no child should be denied education because of poverty. And I know Ghanaians will not allow those dreamers who have still not woken up from their defeat to come and stall it under the guise of reforms,” President Akufo-Addo said.
He said from a growth rate of 2.3 percent in 2016, enrolment in SHS had doubled to 4.5 percent and was projected to grow further to 5.5 percent.
According to him, between 2013 and 2016, an average of 100,000 pupils who passed the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) could not go to school due to
poverty, adding that if the trend had continued for a decade, it meant one million pupils would have been denied access to SHS.
“This is unacceptable in any country in the 21st century and it is dangerous to the stability of any a country,” President Akufo-Addo added.