General News of 2014-03-05

Free education pointless without quality – Educationist

Educationist Anis Haffar says there’s no point implementing a free education system when issues affecting quality of education are left unattended.

Mr Haffar said on his programme ‘QUALITY EDUCATION’ on the XYZ Breakfast Show on Wednesday that free education could be counterproductive if issues confronting quality teaching and learning are left unresolved.

“Anytime people are talking about free education, freed this, I say ‘my goodness’, let’s begin to look at it in a more holistic way. What exactly are we looking for? Even before the free gets in.

“What is the point in having education for free when you come out and you don’t even know what to do for yourself? You don’t know who you are. You don’t know what you’re capable of doing. And you end up on the streets. These are the challenges facing the country.”

The twice-defeated Presidential Candidate of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo made free education the fulcrum of his 2012 election campaign.

President John Mahama and the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) argued at the time that quality education was a priority rather than free education.

The President however made a u-turn recently when he announced to Parliament in his State of the Nation Address that his Government will, progressively, start implementing the free SHS policy from the 2015/2016 academic year.

There have been recriminations between the two parties over the policy ever since the President made the announcement.