Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Keith Christopher Rowley, MP says access to Free secondary education, initiated by the first Prime Minister of the country, Dr. Eric Williams, in 1962 gave him the chance to have a fulfilling life.
According to him, the singular act of making education free to all completely changed his life and is grateful the policy has made him a Prime Minister today.
Coming from a poor family with shuttered dreams of continuing his education, the timely introduction of the policy by the first Prime Minister of the country made him and his sister, be the only ones to further their education.
Hailing the impact of the policy, the Prime Minister reminisced “I came from a family of six boys. I was the last of the six, five brothers never went to High School. My sister and I went to High School because Dr. Eric Williams, first Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, a name that you’re familiar with did what your President (Akufo-Addo) has just done. In 1962, he brought Free Secondary Education to us and that singular opportunity produced from this family, a Prime Minister, the first person in the family to go to High School and my sister, the second person (to go to High School), she became an administrator in public service”.
Dr. Keith Rowley further applauded President Akufo-Addo for initiating the Free Senior High School programme and urged Ghanaians to support the president in achieving the success of the policy.
“I will like to congratulate you for joining us in Trinidad and Tobago in contributing to this vision of what we can be once the opportunities are there,” he added.
President Akufo-Addo in 2017 introduced the Free Senior High School programme where thousands of students across the country are benefitting from the policy. The policy had been a major campaign policy prior to his election as president in 2016.
Due to the high number of students enrolled and to ensure no child is left behind, the government in 2018 introduced the double-track system to reduce overcrowding.
Government spends GH¢2 billion annually in the Free Senior High School (FSHS) Policy, with enrolment increased by 50 per cent and more than 400,000 students gaining admission every year.
So far, 1.2 million students had benefitted from the Free SHS programme with an average of 100,000 students who would have ordinarily stayed home for lack of finances by their parents and guardians now being admitted into their preferred second cycle education institutions.