Free SHS: ‘We bit too much too soon’ – Hollard Ghana CEO

The Group CEO of Hollard Ghana, Mrs Patience Akyianu, has said although the idea of providing free education to Ghanaian children is a laudable act, the free senior high school policy was a “bite too much too soon”.

In September 2017, the Akufo-Addo-led government implemented the Free Senior High School programme, which was a campaign promise ahead of the 2016 election.

In 2017, there was an 11 per cent increase in enrolment, breaking records from previous years.

In the 2017/18 academic year, a new record was set with the highest enrolment ever seen in the country where over 470,000 students enrolled in senior high schools across the country.

By 2019, there were about 1.2 million beneficiaries of the programme.

The free SHS policy has been criticised by the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), some civil society organisation and individuals over its challenges such as lack of infrastructure and inadequate teachers.

Commenting on the policy on the Class Morning Show (CMS) on Class91.3FM on Monday, 30 August 2021, Mrs Akyianu, who appeared on the ‘Behind The Glory’ segment, was of the view that adequate investment was needed to support the venture.

She told show host Kofi Oppong Asamoah: “The idea of providing education for all is a laudable one and we must all support it. However, I think we should always, when we start something, we should always take stock and review and see how we can improve to make it better to enable us achieve the objective we’ve set out to [achieve]”.

“So, from where I see it, I think it was too much; we bit too much too soon and we’ll need to actually intensify and accelerate the investment that we need and infrastructure, including teachers, educational materials, etc., to be able to meet this overwhelming demand for education.”

“So, yes, we’ve done the right thing but I think we then need to accelerate efforts toward building the capacity that we need to support this venture,” she added.


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