“When we make the wrong choices, we must act to set things right. When those put in charge of running the affairs of state get it wrong, we must have the courage, the humanity and the selflessness to say so. That is our patriotic duty. We should also not be seen, at every given opportunity, to be running down our nation merely to realise our narrow, parochial and partisan interest. That is not acceptable patriotism.” That’s according to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, when he spoke at the 109th anniversary celebrations of the Adisadel College, Cape Coast.
Quoting from the celebrated American orator and Senator, Carl Schurz, who, in the 19th century, said, “My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right”, the President noted that that should be the underlining belief of Ghanaians, if the nation is to be successful in consolidating a sense of patriotism in citizens and generations yet unborn.
President Akufo-Addo reiterated that his Government remains committed to the development of a free, fair society in which all persons, irrespective of economic circumstances and social barriers, are able to access education, acquire skills, and contribute effectively to the progress and prosperity of our nation.
“We should have the belief that our nation can make its own unique contribution to the growth of world civilization, and be able to generate prosperity for the masses of its people, building a Ghana Beyond Aid. All of us gathered here, and millions out there, inside our borders and outside in the diaspora, share this love for the place where all of us feel completely at home,” the President stated.
Speaking on the investments his Government is making in education, he expressed his delight that “any young boy from any part of the country, who applies himself diligently, can, in spite of his circumstance, dream of also becoming a Santa Clausian, and contribute to the growth and development of Adisadel and of our country.”
Like the examples of some countries of East Asia have shown, the President noted that key to the creation of progress and prosperity is the process of industrialization and value-addition activities.
This, however, he added, cannot be achieved with an uneducated population, the reason why Government is sparing no effort in ensuring that the Free Senior High School policy succeeds.
“It gladdens my heart that we, in Ghana, are now able to say that education in the public sector is free from Kindergarten to Senior High School. Ghana is proud to be a part of the nations in the world granting unfettered access to Senior High School education to all school-going children, a path that has been trodden by successful nations like the United States of America, Singapore, Finland, Canada, Japan, Korea and Malaysia,” the President said.
The introduction of the Double-Track calendar system, President Akufo-Addo stressed, is a temporary measure, aimed at ensuring that no student was denied the opportunity to further his or her education.
“The construction of new facilities and expansion of existing ones in the four hundred (400) High Schools, running double track, are progressing steadily, made possible by a $1.5 billion GETFund securitization initiative,” he said.
The President continued, “Within two weeks, contracts are going to be awarded for the construction of a two-storey classroom block and a two-storey dormitory block as a double track facility intervention. This will be in addition to the completion of the dormitory block and the classroom about which much has been spoken. We will, in due course, phase out the double track system without loss to anyone’s education.”
In addition to a new standards-based curriculum, which has mathematics, science, reading, writing and creativity at its heart, and will be rolled out from kindergarten to Class 6 in primary schools this year, the President stressed that all is set for the construction of 21 state-of-the-art Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) Centres this year.
On the news of a recent misunderstanding between the Board and Management of Adisadel, on one hand, and the Ghana Education Service, on the other, the President described it as unnecessary.
“As the body charged with managing schools, the authority and directives of GES cannot be disregarded, without introducing anarchy into our educational system. This recent impasse between the GES and Adisadel should not, and must not reoccur. There are more appropriate channels of addressing problems than resorting to open spats in the media,” he added.
In recognition of Adisadel’s 109th anniversary, and in commemoration of his visit, President Akufo-Addo stated that “GETFund is going to going to be instructed to complete this building in which today’s ceremony is being conducted, and to replace the bus about which the Assistant Headmaster complained.”