A Member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Communication Team, Benjamin Essuman has said that the only way government’s flagship Free Senior High School (FSHS) policy could remain meaningful is a holistic review of the policy.
Speaking to Bonohene Baffour Awuah on Ghana Kasa on Kasapa 102.5 FM, Mr. Essuman said the Free SHS policy is bedevilled with challenges because the government failed to employ strategic planning with the implementation of the policy.
“If we decide not to review the FSHS policy then we are doing disservice to ourselves. The first period of every governmental policy we notice mistakes that must be corrected. Even as I talk to you the Catholic Bishop Conference, National Association of Graduate Teachers, Conference of Heads of Assistant of Senior High Schools have all called for a review of the FSHS,” he disclosed.
He further stated that the government is facing challenges because of the rash in implementing the policy against the advice of the former Defence Minister, Dr Addo Kuffour who told the government to be patient.
“The FSHS policy is currently ‘sick’ and the government must know this. If government don’t recognise this fact, then the policy cannot have the necessary improvement needed for it to get better. The admission that the system is ‘sick’ is the beginning of the healing process for the policy,” Mr. Essuman noted.
He alleged that Deputy Minister-Designate for Finance, Abena Osei Asare is on record to have admitted that government must extend its hand to donor countries and borrow from them in order to keep the policy in the system.
“This exposes the fact that the government does not have the needed cash to run its flagship FSHS policy. The money is not available. So the government can only borrow to keep it running,” he reiterated.
The NPP Communicator on the Ghana Kasa show, Alhaji Abi in a sharp rebuttal said the NDC has no moral right to criticise the policy because they had no belief in the policy to see the light of day.
“So let us not dwell on the negativities, because the government is building additional structures. We have employed eight thousand teachers to help existing teachers and keep the policy running,” he added.
Government has committed to spending more than GHC1.5 billion on educational infrastructure across the country in order to end the controversial Double-track system under the Free Senior High School programme by 2024.
Addressing a press conference on Sunday, June 7, 2021 in Accra, the Education Minister, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum said government is on track to phase out the system.
“We are going to live within the President promise of between 5 and 7 years to eliminate double-track. The President has committed to that and he’s doing that. Talk about infrastructure, GHC1.5billion potentially available for school construction has seen buildings in schools across the country,” he stated.