Tuesday, 23 July

Free SHS: Market women laud policy for bridging inequality in education

Education
Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, Education Minister

Market women in Accra have hailed the Free Senior High School (FSHS) policy as a groundbreaking initiative, lauding its role in equalising educational opportunities across Ghana. 

At a symposium titled 'The Free SHS Story,' organised by the Ministry of Education at the UPSA Auditorium, these women shared their experiences and perspectives on the transformative impact of the FSHS policy.

They recounted past struggles with paying school fees for their children attending Senior High Schools (SHS) and celebrated the relief brought by the FSHS policy, which allows both rich and poor students to attend the same schools without financial barriers.

Madam Esinam Akpedo, a fish seller from the Madina market, highlighted how the FSHS policy has empowered her to support three of her children through university education. 

She emphasised the removal of financial constraints enables students to focus on their studies without distractions, paving the way for them to pursue their desired courses at the tertiary level.

Afia Serwaa, renowned as the Queen of Tomato Sellers at Agbogbloshie market, shared her struggles as a single mother supporting her daughters through SHS. However, she noted a significant improvement with her son, currently in his third year at an SHS in the Eastern region, who now studies without difficulty thanks to the FSHS policy.

Addressing the symposium, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, the Education Minister, highlighted the FSHS policy's pivotal role in shaping Ghana's economy by nurturing 21st-century manpower. 

He praised the academic achievements of the five Northern regions, attributing their success to the policy's impact on education quality and access. 

Dr Adutwum expressed optimism that sustained progress would solidify Ghana's position as an education leader in Africa.

Mr William Darkwa, the National Coordinator for the FSHS policy, emphasised the policy's positive societal changes, including improvements in equity, access, and quality across all SHS/TVET institutions.

Initiated by the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo government in 2017, the FSHS policy continues to drive educational advancements in Ghana.

It focuses on initiatives such as STEM education, the revitalization of TVET education, and the introduction of Pre-Engineering and robotics programmes.

Projects like STEMNNOVATION, launched by the FSHS Secretariat, aim to nurture students' diverse talents and abilities, further enhancing the nation's educational landscape.

Source: Classfmonline.com/Cecil Mensah