Feature Article of Tue, 14 Mar 201720
Yes, free SHS can succeed if only the GES is swept clean
By: Sangaparee, Clement
The president has announced that Ghanaian students who will be admitted into the various public Senior High Schools (SHS) will not pay ANY FEES. He added that the NPP government will role out the comprehensive Free SHS Education policy in the next academic year to ease the cost burden of high school education in the country.
The government will fund the cost of public senior high school education for all those who qualify for entry from 2017/2018 academic year on wards. By free SHS, according to president Akuffo Adoo, it means that in addition to tuition, there will be no Admission fees, no library fees, no science resource centre fees, no examination fees, and no utility fees and that, the government would also take up the cost of accommodation for boarders as well as feeding and also provide free meals for day students.
The whole nation was happy with that announcement by the president as well as its most bitter political opponents including this writer. Yes, free SHS can succeed only if Nana Addo’s “Kume preko” government will sweep the Ghana Education Service (GES) clean because it is the implementing authority and it was and is still a corruption ridden institution just like Ghana’s parliament where the president will soon be asked to pay bribes before bills are passed by the legislators if care is not taken. When the PNDC formed the Audit Task Force in 1985, Billions of Ghana cedis were embezzled by Headmasters of senior high schools nationwide – they included house masters, bursars, accountants, schedule officers, office clerks and common messengers, and these nation wreckers described their corrupt activities with a code name “Over The Bar” with impunity. Yes, free SHS is possible and it is a very good policy which all well meaning Ghanaians including devils and satans must embrace and fully support it to succeed but, charity begins at home and so, there must be a massive clean up at the GES first, and then down to the teachers at the various senior high schools nationwide most of whom go to class 3 times a week, others go to school twice a week, while others in both the rural and urban areas does not even go at all but they all draw their salaries at the end of every month with impunity. Particular attention must be paid to the rural areas in the villages nationwide.
There should be no teacher arrears outstanding to be carried forward by the government if we want the free SHS policy to succeed in Ghana.
Teachers must not be compelled to always borrow monies from traders and poor peasant farmers to feed themselves just because their salaries are always in arrears from three months to even 5 months at times. Why are their salaries always held up? These teachers are no more respected in their various communities or stations because they always borrow monies from the natives in order to survive for several months before teaching the students. This practice must stop if the free SHS should succeed.
The inspectorate division of the Ghana Education Service (GES) must be very active nationwide by sending its school inspectors to go round the various schools both JHS OR SHS un-announced to ensure that all teachers are always punctual and are teaching in their various classrooms.
The few lazy ones must be sanctioned without fear or favor, Yes, I am saying this, by hitting the nail right on The Head Because I am a citizen, Not A Spectator.
The caterers who would be cooking for the school children must ensure that they cook quality food and not to always cook the food anyhow, and send more raw food including fish and fresh meat to their various homes to the detriment of the school children just because it is government money that was used in cooking the food. There has been a change of government from the NDC to the NPP, But it is left with A Change Of `Attitude By All Ghanaians otherwise, every good policy including this Free SHS that is being implemented will be a complete failure, and when that happens, the NPP government would be blamed for Not performing, but it is rather the people, I mean, Ghanaians in general who are not performing and have decided not to perform by undermining their own government. Is anybody listening? I shall return when the need arise. I am done.
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