African Union applauds Ghana's free senior high school policy

2017-09-13 21:56:31 GMT2017-09-14 05:56:31(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

ACCRA, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission Thomas Kwesi Quartey on Wednesday commended the Ghanaian government for carrying out its free senior high school (SHS) policy.

Speaking at a United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) - organized high level panel discussion in Geneva, Switzerland, Quartey said it was a sure way of ensuring growth of the country and Africa as a whole.

He said the take-off of the flagship education program in the West African country would give greater impetus to the AU's agenda of having every African child in school by the end of the decade.

"It is in that spirit that I would like to commend the government of Ghana, at the risk of sounding unduly nationalist, that the SHS program, the free compulsory secondary school program that they have introduced, is really an idea whose time has come, and Ghana is to be commended for it," the presidency quoted Quartey as saying in a release.

He said the AU had an ambition of having every African child in school by the year 2020 and that it would like to have a literate and numerate Africa.

"We want an Africa where illiteracy is a thing of the past. With a literate and numerate Africa, the continent would be ready now to imbibe technology, apply science and technology, and find solutions.

"Any effort in this direction is therefore highly commendable, and the introduction of Free SHS in Ghana is a very welcome development," he told the gathering which also included Ghana's Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia.

The government intends to spend 400 million Ghana cedis (90.31 million U.S. dollars) annually on its flagship free senior high school policy.

Launching the policy in Accra Tuesday, President Nana Akufo-Addo indicated that it "will ensure that no child is denied access to secondary education."

"The cost of providing free secondary school education will be cheaper than the cost of the alternative of an uneducated and unskilled workforce that has the capacity to retard our development," the president added.

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