Accra, July 19, GNA- Ghana is on the verge of attaining gender parity between boys and girls at the Senior High School (SHS) level, with the attainment of a Gender Parity Index (GPI) of 0.99 in 2020/21.

Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, the Education Minister, said it meant that the number of girls in SHS in the country would be equal to that of boys as against the previous years where boys dominated at all levels of education.

The nation, therefore, needed only just point one to attain parity (meaning for every 200 students in a school, boys were 101 while girls were 99) as of now.

Data from the Free Senior High School (FSHS) secretariat indicate that the GPI between boys and girls was 0.93 in 2015/16, 0.96 in 2016/17, 0.92 in 2017/18, 0.94 in 2018/19, 0.96 in 2019/20 and 0.99 in 2020/21.

A statement from the Ministry of Education said Dr Adutwum stated this when he visited some selected SHS in the Greater Accra and Eastern regions on Sunday.

The Minister’s trip, aimed at ascertaining the state of food supply in the schools, took him to the Presbyterian Boys Senior High School at Legon, Aburi Girls and the Adonten SHS.

He said although the gender parity development was a welcoming news, stressing it was not enough as the Government was working very hard to ensure an increase in the number of girls pursuing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related courses.

The Education Minister indicated that the nation’s gender parity feat chalked was made possible through the instrumentality of the introduction of the FSHS initiative, which had created the opportunity for many girls to have access to SHS education.

“Gender parity is very critical in the development of every country.

“The Free Senior High School policy has brought much improvement in an effort at bridging the gap between boys and girls,” he said.

He stated that “apart from access there is the need for social equity hence the need to ensure gender parity.”

The Minister said apart from gender parity leading to an increasingly educated workforce, it was lifting women in society.

He said the Government had put in place prudent measures to ensure that more girl’s schools were established, adding that apart from the Bosomtwe Girls STEM High School, which had become operational this academic year, the construction of other girls’ schools would start soon at Kpone Katamanso in the Eastern region and Danyame in the Ashanti regions.