Let’s also consider quality in Free SHS policy—Sheikh Barry

By
Alexander Nyarko Yeboah

Tema, Nov. 15, GNA –
The Government should insist on the high quality of students as it
endeavou   rs to offer all Ghanaian
children an opportunity to be educated through the free SHS policy.

“Even though the
free SHS policy would help the poor and vulnerable to continue their education,
government should have a mechanism to check the maturity level of students that
are produced by the system,” says a Renowned Ghanaian Academician, Sheikh
Labaran Salifu Barry.

Sheikh Barry told
the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview at Tema in a reaction to the
education aspect of the 2020 budget statement as presented to Parliament by Mr
Ken Ofori-Atta, the Finance Minister.

Sheikh Barry
insisted that even though the desire was to get as many people as possible
educated in Ghana, it was necessary to ensure that the quality of students
produced was the purpose of the exercise, not just the numbers.

Sheikh Barry said
over liberalization in any sector of national life could lead to collapse of
the sector if not properly managed adding, “Where there is expansion, there
will be a threat because the production of quality results could be
compromised”.

He cited the
expansion of tertiary education in Ghana as an example of how expansion brought
in corruption in the sense that the private universities reduced standards by
admitting “unqualified” applicants.

Sheikh Barry
explained that expansion in every sector by Ghana’s Development Partners
achieved excellent results and benefited those countries because the expansions
were gradual and continues, “And in that sense, we should have experimented the
free SHS policy before expanding it to the whole nation”.

From the reading of
the budget, enrolment of the secondary level of education increased
significantly by 43 per cent between 2016 and 2018.

At the end of the
2018/19 academic year, total beneficiaries for the two cohorts were 794,899
students.

This number is
projected to reach 1,264,000 with the addition of the third cohort, and would
be the highest number of students concurrently enrolled in the public secondary
education system in Ghana.

GNA

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