President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo yesterday rewarded the 2021-2022 winners of the President’s Independence Day Awards in Accra.
The awards, which is sponsored by Nestle Ghana Limited, is an annual event which recognises and rewards young brilliant students between the ages of 14 and 19 from across the regions.
The 72 awardees were selected based on their exceptional academic performances in the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).
The overall best male and female students from public schools were also selected based on the raw scores obtained in the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
There was also a category for persons with disability.
Each awardee received a plaque, a certificate, an amount of GH¢3,000, a laptop computer and a full year supply of Nestle products.
President Akufo-Addo said he was always delighted to interact with brilliant and talented young people because they represented the future of the country.
“You will be part of the story of whether this country will still remain somewhat dependent on foreign assistance or it will be a self-reliant nation largely mobilising its own resources to take care of its needs,” he added.
The President urged the awardees not to allow the success chalked up to get into their heads because the achievement was the beginning of more to come for which reason they must continue to work hard.
He advised them to be diligent, hardworking and morally upright, adding that honesty and integrity were important values they must always uphold.
The President gave an assurance that the government will continue to place importance on access to quality education for all because “today’s youth running barefooted to school could be a future leader”.
President Akufo-Addo further described education as a sector that provide equal opportunities and the most effective way to change an individual and a nation’s fortunes.
He commended both teaching and non-teaching staff of schools that nurtured the awardees and urged them to continue to give of their best to unearth more talents for nation-building.The President also commended parents and guardians for their care, support and sacrifices that had motivated the children and wards to give their best.
The Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, said this year more than 500,000 students were placed in various schools to enable them to realise their dreams.
“The vision of the President is to ensure that this nation will live true to its motto of Freedom and Justice,” by providing opportunities for all children irrespective of their economic circumstances or background.