General News of Tuesday, 2 October 2018
A lecturer at the Kings University College, Prof. Agyenim Boateng, has advised the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), to review the free senior high school policy in order to sustain it.
The lecturer in an interview with Rainbow Radio 87.5FM said, former President John Dramami Mahama did no wrong when he promised to review the policy because the policy is facing financially challenges.
He believes the policy should have been properly planned because the beneficiaries are supposed to benefit from the policy holistically. The lecturer and international relations expert said, a review of the policy does not mean it would be scrapped as suggested by President Akufo-Addo.
Commenting further, he indicated that, the double track would also pose challenges hence the need for the ruling administration to review it. According to him, the double track will not be effective and in justifying his position, he said, even university students are faced with challenges when they go on a long break and resume lessons.
How much more students at the SHS level? In his view, the free lunch, free boarding being part of the policy should not have been part of it.
“We rushed the policy because of politics. We should have rolled out the policy progressively. It is not too late to review it. We have to review it. President Akufo-Addo and his men should not wait for Mahama to come and review it, they should do it before it is too late.”
Meanwhile, former President Mahama has clarified he will not collapse free SHS but review it. In a post on is official Facebook page, he wrote:
“Education is key to our country’s development. Free education is a public good, as was demonstrated by my administration. FREE EDUCATION MUST BE implemented in a manner that is sustainable and does not compromise quality. A new NDC Government will improve the Free SHS programme and make it better.
We will abolish the current shift (double track) system, reintroduce the more efficient three-terms per academic year programme, and bring back the emphasis on skills training, technical and vocational education to provide students with more options, as they go forward with their choices in diverse career and aptitude paths.
NDC will improve learning outcomes, teaching, teacher development and supervision across all schools. We will also implement a crash programme to complete all the remaining abandoned Community Day Schools and construct additional ones in areas of high demand to be able to provide increased access and avoid the current congestion being experienced due to the current poor implementation of the programme.
In addition, a National Stakeholders Conference will be organised to bring together headmasters, parents, teachers, educationists, labour, politicians, traditional leaders, religious groups, CSOs, students and others to further review and chart a sustainable course for the implementation of free education for our children and country.”