General News of 2014-02-27

Free SHS policy will reduce quality education – Angel Kabonu

The Vice President of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Angel Kabonu, says the Free Senior High School (SHS) policy will rather reduce the quality of education in Senior High Schools.

This, he said, was because the private schools had the capacity to provide quality education due to the amount of fees they charge as compared to the public schools.

“Why is it that although education is virtually free at the public basic schools, most parents prefer to send their wards to private based schools in the country? What it tells you is that whereas everybody in this world want free things, everybody also wants quality and results- oriented institutions,” he explained.

Speaking on Eyewitness News, he stated that the debate on the Free SHS policy by the two major political parties had to do with populism.

In that regard, he stated that, “we need to be careful about some of these populist ideas touted by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC)”.

But in a quick rebuttal, the Deputy Minister in charge of Tertiary Education, Mr. Okudzeto Ablakwa, debunked the notion that the Free SHS policy will reduce the quality of education.

“When you access the basic education of our country, you will come to the conclusion that there are multiple factors accounting for the current state of basic education in Ghana.

I am not too sure it is as a result of the Free SHS policy”.

On the contrary, he stated that the factors accounting for the decline in the quality of basic education included teacher absenteeism among others.

President John Dramani Mahama revealed government's plan to implement Free SHS policy during the 2014 State of the Nation address on Tuesday.