General News of Fri, 21 Apr 201734
Free SHS without investment is a waste of time – Prof. Aryeetey
A former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Prof. Ernest Aryeetey, says making Senior High School education free without corresponding investment is a waste of time.
He decried the gap in the quality of education at International Schools as compared to public senior high schools, and warned that failure to reverse the trend will spell doom for the country’s human resource.
Speaking on “re-engineering education in Ghana, removing the growing dualism” at the 4th lecture of Achimota Speaks, Prof. Aryeetey called for a Private Public Partnership in the financing High Schools in order to bridge the gap.
“What I want us to do is to bridge the gap and it is possible. I am proposing Private Public Partnership (PPP). If you are bringing an investor to spend millions of dollars it cannot be for free.
I have not said I am against free SHS. If you make it free and you don’t make these investments you are wasting your time.
That one I can say confidently.” Prof. Aryeetey is not the first to caution government on the implementation of the Free SHS policy, without the corresponding measures to ensure its sustainability.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies, equally raised similar concerns, saying the policy could have negative implications on education if government fails to identify pragmatic funding sources to sustain it.
The IFS said the fundamentals for achieving the objectives require robust and sustainable funds which have to be considered critically.
In a post analysis of the 2017 budget statement, the Executive Director for the IFS, Professor Newman Kusi, further cautioned that the development may lead to undesirable circumstances that had characterized previous policies.
“If the enrollment numbers increase or double, are we assuming that there are available classrooms to accommodate the children so that we can get quality education.
Are we saying that there are enough teaching and learning materials as well as teachers so that we do not continue with the schools under trees phenomenon?” he quizzed.