Free SHS Needs Practical Means Of Financing Or Else… – NAGRAT

The National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) has warned of a possible dip in the standards of secondary education if government does not engage relevant stakeholders on practical means of financing education in Ghana.

President John Mahama during his state of the nation address on Tuesday revealed that government will from 2015; roll out a free Senior High School (SHS) policy.

The announcement was received with several criticisms from sections of the public and some members and supporters of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

They are of the view that the policy was the main campaign message of the NPP during the 2012 electioneering period; therefore, government has no right to roll it out.

But the President has indicated it is enshrined in the country’s constitution and consequently, no individual or political party can claim sole ownership to it.

Speaking on Citi FM’s The Big Issue on Saturday, the Vice President of NAGRAT, Angel Kabonu questioned the structures government has put in place to ensure the regular inflow of funds to support the free SHS system.

“If you introduce free education that everybody likes, are we guaranteed the inflow of resources, uninterrupted to the various to the various schools? What structures have been put in place to ensure that the amount of money that would have been paid by parents for the schools to run will be flowing to the schools uninterrupted?” he asked.

He warned that if there is an interruption of the inflow of funds and resources, the country will experience “a similar situation bedeviling the basic schools affecting the senior high schools…performance” adding that “the lack of resources have telling effect on performance.”

Mr. Kabonu insisted there is an urgent need for government “to engage stakeholders in this country to discuss and come up with very practical way of funding education.”

According to him, Ghana has a history of the inconsistent flow of funds and resources to government institutions; a practice which he advised should be checked before government begins the implementation of the free SHS policy.

NAGRAT, he said, is “predicting that if anybody implements a policy like this one without a well thought out plan, there will be negative consequences to secondary education in this country.”