Thirty students have been awarded the presidential award for excelling in the 2017 Basic Education Certificate Examination(BECE). The 30 awardees were from all 10 regions of the country and received their awards from President Akufo-Addo on Independence Day in Accra. The Presidential award was introduced in 1993 to award scholarships to deserving BECE graduates.
The president in his address at the ceremony emphasized the need to invest in education and said the free Senior High School (SHS) programme among other policies is meant to ensure that education is made accessible to all. The president said,“when children fall through cracks it holds back the growth and development of the country as well as the fight against the nation’s quest to reduce illiteracy rate”.
He added that to create employment, government is working to implement a five-year strategic plan for the country’s Technical and Vocational education and training.
He also urged parents to provide the support and necessary resources to help their children climb the educational ladder and complete their education, while encouraging students to learn hard and take their studies seriously.
Each of the awardees was given a citation, a certificate, a plaque, a Sumsung tablet and a gold medal. In addition, they get one-year supply of products from Nestle, book supply from EPP Bookshop plus GHȼ1,000.00 cash. Four of the awardees were students with special needs, two were visually impaired and two with hearing impairment.
Dr Mathew Opoku-Prempeh, Minister of Education reiterated the fact that education is a right for all children regardless of their social status. He said the free SHS programme has given 90,000 students access to SHS unlike in the past when about 11,000 students did not have access to public Senior High School education.