Four Senior High School (SHS) students with special needs on Friday joined 20 other students to receive the President’s Independence Day Awards for their outstanding performance in the 2018 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).
Anita Badu, and Theophilus Elorm Dzirakor, both visually impaired, and Freda Owusuaa Yeboah and Prosper Adjei, with hearing impairment, were all given a medal and GH¢1,000.00.
The 24 award winners were selected from the 10 regions of Ghana and would enjoy one-year supply of products from Nestle, stationery from Kingdom Books, Samsung computer tablets and the Presidential Scholarship.
They were honoured at an impressive ceremony, which brought together people including traditional rulers, parents, teachers, members of the diplomatic corps and directors of the Ministry of Education.
Nana Ama Adjei-Twum and Seth Aduhene came tops in the Greater Accra Region, Christabel Akwaah Asante and George Kofi Adu, from the Ashanti Region, Sandra Asraa Agyapong and Albert Afriyie from the Brong Ahafo Region, and Esi Ndou Adjei and Perry Aborah Frempong from the Central Region.
Richeal Nkrumah Arthur and Edmund Afreh-Opoku were selected from the Eastern Region, Huda Adam and Kesson Abdul-Quddus Nyankpani from the Northern Region, and Assibi Comfort Awaafo and Peter Alahari Akurugu, from the Upper East Region.
Benedicta Afia Owusu and James Jorkpietey came tops in the Upper West Region, Roselena Afia Quainoo and Prince Korsi Awutey for the Volta Region and Winifred Korankye Amoah and Edwin Baidoo for the Western Region.
Out of the 500,000 pupils that sat for the 2018 BECE, the 20 were selected as the overall best public-school students; male and female, in the regions based on raw score obtained from the West African Examination Council.
The four students with additional educational needs comprising the overall national best male and female students with visual challenges and the overall national best male and female with hearing challenges were selected also based on their raw score from the BECE.
The President’s Independence Day Award started in 1993 to provide scholarships, annually, to 20 young brilliant students aged from 14 and 19, male and female, across the country.
The students with special needs were added to the list of awardees in 2018 to ensure a fair and equal balance of the award scheme.
It is to recognise, promote and encourage exceptional performance of students across board, including those with additional educational needs.
Awardees should be exceptionally good academically in the BECE as well as in the extra-curricular activities.
This year’s independence celebration, the 62nd, would be on the theme: “Celebrating Peace and Unity”.
Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, the Minister of Education, said government would continue to reform the educational system to perform better.
Madam Philomena Tan, the Managing Director of Nestle Ghana, sponsor of the award, pledged the support of her organisation to provide nutritional products to promote the children’s growth.
The Children’s Independence Day message appealed to the President to strengthen security in the country to prevent chaos, fear and panic.
They appealed to Ghanaians to show tolerance, forgiveness and respect for one another.