President Nana Akufo-Addo has his sights set on making education compulsory from the kindergarten up to the university level.
The Akufo-Addo administration’s Free SHS is entering its second academic year, amid the growing pains of infrastructure and funding challenges, among others.
But the president, while addressing the Ghanaian community in China during his visit to the East Asian country, said he was resolutely committed to ensuring access to secondary education.
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Despite the challenges to a programme he admitted was radical, he assured the Ghanaians that “we are going to continue down this road.”
The next stop on this journey could see university education being made compulsory, the President added.
“My hope is that soon, Parliament and myself will be in agreement that we should even bring legislation that will make it compulsory for every child in Ghana to go to school from kindergarten right up to university level.”
President Akufo-Addo further indicated that dialogue with the aim of the legislation was ongoing.
He also said, “that matter is now up for public discourse.”
“It is not yet concretized itself into specific legislation but the conversation on that is now part of our national discourse and it should be because I believe that is the right thing to do to make it a matter of legislation.”
“…and therefore, if you see children hanging around the streets who are not in school you know they are breaking the law and we can take action against their parents especially if we have made it possible for them to be able to go to school and we are going to do that.”
The President stressed that having an educated population was the only way “we can prepare our country to be able to compete in the 21st century.”
Compulsory education and free education normally go hand-in-hand.
President Nana Akufo-Addo has previously said university level could eventually be free if his government is able to fix the economy.
“I have two things to share with you on education. First the government treasures education and so, we will do everything to make it easily accessible to all children. If God permits and we are able to fix this economy for it to improve, we will even make university education free,” the President stated in December 2017.