General News of Sunday, 3 September 2017
Deputy Minister of Education Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum has said 30 percent of enrollment in elite public senior high schools will be reserved for students from deprived or less privileged schools.
He said the initiative is to ensure fairness and quality education in the implementation of government flagship policy Free SHS. Addressing the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education in Koforidua, Dr. Adutwum indicated that, various stakeholders have been engaged on the programme to make it a success.
“Poor kids are suffering and I know how difficult it is for children in rural areas and poor communities in urban areas to access secondary education. “So, it our hope that no one will put any impediments on the way of anyone and as we said, 30 percent of enrollment in elite schools in this country has been reserved for those from public schools who are more likely to be poor,” the Deputy Minister said.
This new policy is an improvement on the previous one where for 30 percent of the total number of vacancies available in schools were allocated to students who attended junior high schools within a 10-kilometer radius of the second cycle institution they selected to attend.
But this, according to the Education Ministry did not serve its purpose. Dr Adutwum said the Akufo-Addo-led administration’s Free SHS Policy is not only about access but quality and equity.
He said in implementing the policy “We don’t want to leave any child behind.” Education Minister, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh who was also at the Committee meeting hinted that, procurement for the free SHS will not be entirely centralised.
“Everything on the bill is being sent to school except for six things, where we wanted to achieve economies of scale, exercise books, notebooks, technical drawing equipments, PE Kits, textbooks and literature books,
“These are the only six things we are procuring centrally. The core books have already been distributed, every school will get its quota and if there are shortfalls we will top up,” he added.
He affirmed government’s decision to license teachers in the country to ensure professionalism and quality education.
He added that, licensing of teachers is a requirement in the education system all over the world.
Dr Opoku Prempeh said the process is going through consultations and a lot of things are being done and the teacher unions are being engaged.