SONA 2024: All arguments about Free SHS must cease, says Akufo-Addo

The president said Ghanaians should rather focus on how to enhance the transformative Free SHS programme, which has “broken myths and liberated minds”

President Akufo-Addo has declared that all arguments about the government’s flagship Free Senior High School (Free SHS) policy must cease, and insisted that the policy has proved its critics wrong.

He wants Ghanaians rather to focus on how to enhance the programme, which he said has broken myths and liberated minds.

Delivering the State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Parliament on Tuesday (27 February). Akufo-Addo said, “I believe the success of the Free SHS has answered its critics and the arguments about it should cease.

“… Free SHS might be labelled by its detractors as a mere political slogan that must be demonised, but it is, in fact, a transformative programme that has broken myths and liberated minds.

“It is humbling, on the one hand, and frightening, on the other, to think of the sheer number of talents that Free SHS has unearthed that would otherwise have ended their formal education at BECE.

“I know we will get more engineers, doctors, architects, scientists, writers and poets out of the increased numbers of those attending senior high school, who will go on to further education.

“Even if they stop at senior high school, imagine what a million more secondary-school-educated young people will do to our self-confidence and the value of our workforce. That alone makes Free SHS worthwhile,” the president said.

Listen to President Akufo-Addo in the audio clip attached below:


The second NPP government launched the pro-poor education programme seven years ago, fulfilling a campaign promise that Nana Akufo-Addo made to Ghanaians in the run-up to the 2012 and 2016 elections.

The policy launched across the country with about 400,000 students. An estimated 2.2 million young people have benefitted from the programme so far.

Reporting by Fred Dzakpata in Accra

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