Let’s eschew divisiveness and self-centredness, Akufo-Addo urges Ghanaians

President Akufo-Addo has made a passionate appeal to the people of Ghana to eschew all forms of self-centredness and divisiveness for the sake of the nation’s collective development.

He made this call in his address to guests at the 2023 President’s Independence Day Awards at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC) today (3 March).

The awards ceremony is just one event marking the run-up to Ghana’s 66th anniversary of independence on Monday 6 March 2023.

Much to celebrate
President Akufo-Addo said that in spite of the challenges Ghana faces, a lot has been achieved by the nation and Ghanaian citizens should be inclined to celebrate the nation’s achievements and acknowledge the collective challenges faced by the state.

President Akufo-Addo presents a prize at the President’s Independence Day Awards (3 March 2023)

“As we prepare to celebrate 66 years of independence from the British colonial power on the theme: ‘Our Unity, Our Strength, Our Purpose’ – the formal commemoration of the anniversary taking place in Ho and Adaklu, in the Volta Region – let us eschew all acts of divisiveness and self-centred tendencies which will only retard our forward march,” the president said.

“We must have the pride to acknowledge we have made positive strides and we must also have the humility to appreciate that we still have a long way to go,” President Akufo-Addo said.

“We must have the patience to accept that just as our fight for freedom and independence was not achieved in a day, so, too, our national prosperity will not come overnight. We will have to work hard for it.

“In peace and unity, I am certain that we can build a new Ghanaian civilisation that will attract the admiration of Africa and the world,” Akufo-Addo said.

The 2021 and 2022 award-winners at the President’s Independence Day Awards (3 March 2023)/President Akufo-Addo

High SHS enrolment
In brief remarks, the Minister of Education, Yaw Osei Adutwum, pointed out that over 500,000 students so far have been placed in various senior high schools across the country under the ongoing 2023 school placement exercise.

He also commended the award-winners for their achievements and urged them not to relent in their efforts to climb the academic ladder at the senior high schools to which they have been admitted.

“When Free Senior High School started in 2017, there were 830,000 students enrolled in our high schools across the country,” Adutwum recalled. “This year, we have had a record placement of over 500,000 [new] students.

“The 830,000 was for three years. This year alone, 500,000 have found schools and we are waiting anxiously for them to enrol in our various high schools across the country. That tells you something about what is taking place in this country [as far as education is concerned],” the minister said.

Yaw Osei Adutwum, Minister of Education, at the President’s Independence Day Awards ceremony at the Accra International Conference Centre (3 March 2023)

Nestlé supports
The managing director of the sponsoring institution for the President’s Independence Awards, Nestlé Ghana Ltd, Georgios Badaro, applauded the award-winners for their achievements.

He recalled that for 16 years Nestlé has supported the awards in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and the Office of the President of Ghana to reward Ghanaian students and talents who excel in the Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE).

“We [Nestlé] do this because we believe that recognising, celebrating, supporting the achievements of our young talents can only urge them and motivate them to stay on course for their growth and development,” Badaro said.

The awards
President Akufo-Addo presented awards to 36 deserving students for the year 2021 and 36 students for the year 2022, bring the total to 72.

The 2021 ceremony was postponed because of the COVID-19 outbreak and was therefore rolled into the 2022 event.

The annual President’s Independence Day Awards, since their inception in 1993, reward young, bright students (male and female) between the ages of 14 and 19 from all the regions of Ghana.

The award-winners are selected on the basis of exceptional academic performance in the BECE exams.

The objectives of the awards are to recognise and reward academic excellence and to promote and encourage students with additional educational needs.

Selection criteria
The criteria used to select the award-winners were excellent performance in the 2021 and 2022 BECE examinations. The overall best male and female students from state-run schools in the 16 regions were selected according to the raw scores they obtained in the tests run by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC).

The overall best male and female students with additional educational needs, such as visual and hearing impairments, are also selected to receive awards each year. Where there is a tie, the four core subjects (English, mathematics, general science and social studies) are used to break the tie.

To ensure absolute transparency and fairness, the best male and female students from state-run schools in each region are selected based on the raw scores they obtain from WAEC.

These students become the representative award-winners for their regions.

In the interests of inclusivity, the four overall best male and female students with visual and hearing challenges are also selected based on their BECE raw scores.


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