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Government to actualise Free SHS in September – Dr Bawumia

By Nana
Osei Kyeretwie, GNA

Sunyani, Aug. 12, GNA – The Vice-President,
Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, has reiterated that the Government will begin to
actualise its Free Senior High School (SHS) Policy in September, this year.

He said government believed that the policy
could help increase enrolment in the tertiary education sector to comparable
levels in other African countries. 

Vice President Dr Bawumia said this on
Saturday at the Second Congregation of the University of Energy and Natural
Resources (UENR) in Sunyani, which saw 628 students graduating after pursuing
four-year degree courses in various academic disciplines.

They comprised 299 from the School of
Engineering, 110 from the School of Science and 219 from the School of Natural
Resources.

Out of the number 105 received Bachelor of
Science (BSc) in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, 62 had BSc Renewable
Engineering, BSc Mechanical Engineering; 63, BSc Computer Science; 60, BSc
Statistics; 15, BSc Mathematics; 35 and BSc Natural Resources Management; 219.

Vice President Bawumia said government,
however, was fully aware of the ripple effects of the Free SHS Policy on the
universities and other tertiary institutions, hence it would roll up a number
of initiatives to address some of those challenges that might arise during the
implementation.

He said the Government would, therefore,
continue to invest in higher education through the provision of infrastructure,
laboratory equipment, capacity development, ICT infrastructure and
accommodation among other things to enable the universities to achieve their
vision and fulfil their mission.  

Vice President Bawumia noted with concern that
over the last couple of years Ghana’s universities had drifted away from science,
technology and mathematics (STM) into humanities in a ratio of 40:60.

He said that was not helpful to the cause of
national development in the current era of scientific and technological
progress because “for a country to leap forward in this age, it must put
emphasis on STM”.

Due to that, the Vice President said the
Government intended to promote science, technology and innovation as espoused
in its Party Manifesto for Election 2016. 

He said the University had challenges,
particularly financial and physical infrastructural, that were affecting its
smooth operation and gave the assurance that his office, as a matter of
priority, would facilitate the solution of those challenges through the
Ministry of Finance and the Ghana Education Trust Fund.

Professor Harrison Kwame Dapaah, the
Vice-Chancellor of the University, appealed to government and other
philanthropists to help the University resolve its financial difficulties.

He said, over the past three years, funds for
Goods and Services had not been released by the Government, which had resulted
in the University owing its service providers and suppliers.

Six graduands got First Class Honours while
the Overall Best Graduating Student went to 21-year old Roland Kobla Tagayi who
had First Class in BSc in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and was given a
citation and a cash prize of GH¢2,500.00.

The UENR, the first public-funded university
in the Brong-Ahafo Region, was established by an Act of Parliament, Act 830,
2011 and was inaugurated with the matriculation of 154 foundation students on
November 17, 2012.

The institution, as of May 2017, had a student
population of 3,613 spread across five schools of Natural Resources,
Engineering, Sciences, Agriculture and Technology and Graduate Studies.

GNA

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