By Ken Sackey, GNA
Odumase Krobo, (E/R), March 26, GNA- President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Saturday said his government would leverage on the education of women and girls as a critical and strategic means of accelerating and bringing premium to Ghana’s development process.
According to him investing in, and increasing access to education, especially for females, was a key driver for economic growth and prosperity for citizens, where transformation would be hinge on.
He said it would also scale up the level of investment in education to promote the political, social and economic advancement of women and girls.
“If we are to transform the lives of our people, if we are to transform our economy from a raw material producing and exporting one, to a value added one, we need a literate population…therefore achieving excellence in girls education is a must if we are to shed off the evils of poverty, ignorance and disease and put our country on the path of progress and prosperity,” he said at the 90th anniversary celebration and Speech and Prize giving day of the Krobo Girls Secondary School at Odumasi-Krobo in the Eastern region.
President Akufo-Addo noted that world-wide research had indicated that the education of females was the most effective measure that a developing nation like Ghana could employ to improve its standards of living, as it had been proven that educating girls produced considerable social and welfare benefits.
He said education was the most critical tool to influence economic growth of the country, stressing that governments’ drive would be focused on empowering citizens with education to enable them make the informed choices that would propel the country to the desired levels of development.
“We lament every day that we started on the same pedestal with nations like Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea but the truth is that they have made it simply by wiping off their deficits and empowering a generation of citizens with education and the skills to power their nation’s development.
“Citizens can only make informed choices if they are empowered with the capacity to make those choices…in the fundamental sense, education is the key to human development and widening life’s options to individuals and society as a whole.
“In that sense, education is the key to the development of our nation and a healthy democracy… my government regards education as a public good to which the youth, especially girls must have unfettered access. To build the Ghana we deserve, everyone has a major stake in ensuring that we achieve excellence in educational system and that of the girl child,” President Akufo-Addo reiterated.
On the financing of education in the country, President Akufo-Addo said his government would leverage on gains from Ghana’s natural resource to fund the cost of free education to speed up the development of the nation.
He was of the believe that the most equitable and progressive way of using proceeds from Ghana’s oil was to educate and empower the population so as to drive the industrialisation process, “instead of the proceeds finding itself in the hands of a privileged few.”
The President also stressed the importance of building the capacity of and adequately motivating teachers if the country were to make a head way in its educational policy outlook, adding that only well trained, self-confident and content teachers can deliver the educated and skilled workforce the country required to transform the economy.
To this end, the President reiterated his government’s commitment to pursuing a regime of teacher training and development to boost their capacity, and restoring the profession to its deserved status and an enviable career, as well as facilitate the acquisition of homes for teachers through teacher union schemes.
The President also urged parents to play their roles in the education of their children, as their involvement in their education was a significant factor for their educational success.
He tasked the Minister of Education, Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh to ensure that the schools’ request for an 18-unit classroom block was met.