The overwhelming challenges, numerous agencies, strong teacher and worker unions, unstable reforms, and the number of stakeholders that one needs to engage with - students, teachers, parents, NGOs, community leaders, religious groups, etc make the Education Ministry, the hottest of all in Ghana. Therefore, for any president to assign you to that ministry shows the level of trust he has in you with regard to your capability, temperament, vision and experience.
When His Excellency, President Akufo-Addo named Hon. Dr. Mathew Opoku-Prempeh to man the Education Ministry early this year, many expressed doubts about this particular appointment. To them, Dr. Opoku-Prempeh fitted at the Health Ministry looking at his background in medicine. However, little did we know that he would prove the skeptics wrong with time. Yesterday, it took no other person than the President to commend the sector Minister. He remarked; "To the Minister of Education, Hon. Dr. Mathew Opoku-Prempeh, MP for Manhyia South, who has provided such dynamic leadership for the realisation of this all-important initiative, I say 'Ayekoo'. I daresay, by the end of your term in office, you will have joined a pantheon of great Education Ministers like Kojo Botsio, Frank Buah and Yaw Osafo Maafo".
With the above honest revelation by the president, what else can I add? Napo, as affectionately called, has been exceptional, professional, diligent, humble, and tactful in ensuring the implementation of the free SHS programme. If you look at how timely the BECE results were released; the innovation in this year's student placement, where candidates who missed their four choices were given a second chance to choose schools; the reporting time of freshers; the non-usage of cut-off points; the opportunity given to previous candidates to re-apply; the consistent engagement of heads of secondary educational institutions, Accountants and matrons; the part payment of the cost (GHC280m) ahead of school re-opening and the colourful launch of the programme, nobody should tell you that brains had been at work.
Mr. Minister, you and your government, deputies, the Ag. Director-General of GES, have saved the lives of over 200,000 JHS graduates who would have been on the street this year; you have removed emotional and psychological stress of many parents who would have struggled to send their wards to school. What needs to be done now is to provide more educational resources to the less-endowed senior high schools. Again, our noble teachers who are the pivot of this great policy, must not be left out. Their conditions of service, remunerations and promotion arrears must be paid on time.
It is my prayer that, you would not be consumed by this commendation. You would continue to work harder than before by dispatching Monitoring Teams for a feedback. There are a lot of unpatriotic Ghanaians who have shown traits of sabotaging the policy and they must not given any space. We, as beneficiary parents would complement the government's effort by providing the basic needs of our wards. The teachers should also do their best to impart knowledge, skills and positive attitude into the children so that, they grow up to become useful citizens. Together, we can make Mother Ghana, a literate nation.
God bless Ghana! God bless NPP!! God bless Hon. Napo!!!