Every parent who has kids in school understands the pressures that come with paying school fees and related expenditures.
From kindergarten through primary or basic school ending up at JSS levels, the pressures keep mounting, particularly when the kids are multiple.
For a developing country like Ghana, where employment and incomes are generally low for a teeming number of adults – with a lot more outside the employment bracket – the tendency to have hundreds of thousands of kids dropping out of school before Senior Secondary School is high.
That is why everybody, including political opponents in the National Democratic Congress, applauded President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo when he began rolling out the Free SHS programme a couple of years ago.
That the initiative holds the potential of bringing about massive transformation in our education sector is manifest in the improved academic performance scored by the first cohort of the Free SHS programme.
Considering that the exams they wrote were held under COVID-19 conditions, it becomes more compelling on us as citizens to appreciate the effort the government is investing into the education of pupils in the public sector.
That is why all of us have the obligation to support government, in our own small ways, in implementing such viable safety net initiatives to help develop the manpower needs of the country.
We have no doubt the government has shown enough commitment to getting the best for the young ones in terms of access to quality education.
That is why it has absorbed the registration fees for some 403,878 students in Junior High Schools, and also is in the process of picking the bill of yet another batch of 416,066 kids. This must be another refreshing news for parents and wards.
As we may be aware, this package covers all schools across the country, including those in rural and mining communities, our vulnerable northern communities and fishing communities, in both urban and rural areas.
That is aside of the funding and construction of basic infrastructural projects like schools to make education accessible to communities afflicted with the ‘Schools Under Trees’ syndrome, characteristic of the previous National Democratic Congress administration.
In that regard, according to the government, more and more of such projects will be coming off the ground, beyond the 195 public schools completed last year to enhance enrolment and reduce truancy as well as encourage girl-child education, particularly in vulnerable communities up north.
The NPP government’s record of making logistics available to state institutions which have need of them cannot be over-emphasised.
Apart from its constant support to the Ghana Police Service and the Ghana Armed Forces through the provision of improved accommodation facilities, means of transport, logistics, among others, the government is also ensuring that logistical support that will deliver quality education to drive development is made available to the education sector.
To effectively monitor operations and ensure that the kids deliver, we are told that additional 2,000 motorbikes, 840 pickup trucks and 350 buses will be procured to support the sector.
As the President had pointed out, the era of this current NPP government has witnessed the greatest investment in the education sector since our national independence.
If this is not a feat to be celebrated, we at the Daily Statesman cannot fathom what else a people should expect from their government.
As we may admit, food prices are still relatively manageable; water and electricity bills within reach, with hope still alive as the government supports industry to deliver more jobs in improving lives and livelihoods.
What more can a government do, except expect that discerning citizens appreciate the rainbow of hope on the horizons, and, together, put wheels to the shoulder and contribute our bit in making Ghana a better place to live and work and enjoy life in peace.