2015 President’s Independence Day Awards Held In Accra

Mar 2015

Twenty students from across the ten regions of Ghana have received awards for their excellence and impressive performance in the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).
Presenting the Awards on behalf of the President, during the annual Presidential Independence Day Awards ceremony in Accra, His Excellency the Vice President, Mr. Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, stressed the need to inculcate the idea of unity among the youth.
Vice President Amissah-Arthur said the Complementary Basic Education Programme had been introduced to ensure that out-of-school children were guided back into the formal education system, adding that about 24,000 out-of-school children in the four upper regions had been sent back to school.
According to the Vice President, 10,000 basic school teachers had received training in computer usage within the last academic year.
He said government was also working hard to improve access to secondary education through the construction of community-based Senior High Schools.
These, he said, testified to government’s commitment to providing the youth with opportunities to guarantee them a prosperous future.
He, therefore, urged the youth to take advantage of these opportunities to excel in their education and raise themselves to greater heights.
Outlining the criteria for selection for the awards, the Minister for Education, Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyeman said the awardees were selected, based on excellent performance in their BECE, participation in co-curricular activities particularly, involvement in the school club activities, sports, community services and leadership roles, and exemplary conduct and good moral behaviour, among other special qualities.
The sector minister reiterated the Ministry’s commitment to improving the performance of students at all levels, including the pre-tertiary levels, and more importantly, at the public basic schools.
Highlighting some accomplishments by the sector, she disclosed that a Teacher Rationalization Exercise was undertaken in 2014 to ensure equity in teacher distribution, while increasing core text books to all basic schools, from one text book to three children, to four text books to one child.
She announced that the Ministry was far advanced in efforts at procuring 10 million cedis worth of exercise books, and 8 million cedis of school uniforms for basic school children across the country.
Prof. Opoku-Agyeman congratulated the award winners and urged them share their knowledge with their mates, and remain sources of inspiration to the many students who were unable to pass the selection process.
On behalf of the major sponsors of the program, Nestle Ghana Limited, Mr. Daniel Yaw Pobi, Business Executive Manager for Beverages responsible for West and Central Africa, outlined some major contributions of Nestle to Education in Ghana.
Mr Pobi said aside the company’s active participation in the President’s Independence Day Award celebration about two decades ago, Nestle had constructed schools and ICT centers which served as resource centers for both schools and even farmers in the Eastern region.
He said Nestle had also initiated the Athletics Development Program, a joint initiative with the International Association of Athletes Federation (IAF) and the Ghana Athletics Education for kids in Athletics.
For this year’s awards programme, Nestle will award winners with Samsung tablets, a year’s supply of Nestle products, a crystal plague, 700 Ghana cedis cash, and a full scholarship to the Senior High School.
The President’s Independence Day Award was instituted in 1993 to award scholarships to deserving BECE graduands.
Originally, only ten students from each of the regions were eligible for the award until 2001 when the number was increased by two-fold upon suggestion from the Ghana Education Service (GES). The number makes it possible for both boys and girls, one from each region to benefit from the program.
The event also serves as platform for the children of Ghana to present their message to the President.
About 400 students have so far benefited from the program since its inception.
Source: ISD (Naa Palm & Linda Okyere)