General News of Wed, 25 Jul 201846
Free SHS: Be humble and seek help – Ablakwa tells government
The former Deputy Education Minister Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has urged the Akufo-Addo led government to be humble and consult other stakeholders to find a better way to implement the free SHS policy.
According to him, the hasty implementation of the policy has caused the current mess in the education sector.
The government has adopted a double tracking system in Senior High Schools to accommodate the surge in students’ population following the introduction of free SHS last year.
Government says the double track system is to accommodate the large numbers that will enrol on the free SHS policy beginning this September.
A total of 362,118 first-year students from public Senior High Schools across the country are currently benefiting from the government’s fee-free education policy since its inception. Of the above figure, 117,692 are day students with 244,426 being boarders.
Based on last year’s enrollment, the government has projected enrollment figures for 2018 to stand at 472,730 against available seats of 290, 737 leaving a gap of 181, 993 to be created in order to accommodate the expected number of enrollment.
The double tracking system, according to the Ministry of Education will offer students more instructional and contact hours with teachers.
But Policy think tank IMANI has kicked against the policy.
“It doesn’t make sense,” the President of IMANI Africa Franklin Cudjoe stated on Morning Starr.
The Integrated Social Development Center which has also faulted government for rushing through the policy and failing to consult.
However, Educationist and former GIMPA Rector Professor Stephen Adei has dared those criticizing government’s double track SHS system to provide alternatives they believe are better than the current one adopted.
But speaking on Starr Today, Mr. Ablakwa who is also the Member of Parliament for North Tongu said the government failed to listen to cautions when they implemented the policy last year.
According to him, the best way to save the policy is to have a national debate and take on take criticisms in good faith.