Member of Parliament (MP) of Tamale South, Haruna Iddrisu is skeptical about the quality the free Senior High School policy introduced by the current adminsitration will provide Ghanaians considering the litany of challenges that have bedeviled it.The programme, in his view, is a noble social and political objective provided it can be realized but is worried about how basic education which embodies literacy and numeracy is being sacrificed on the political alter of the free SHS.
He cited instances where students are compelled to sit on bricks because there is not furniture for them and others also forced to sleep in toilets converted into dormitories as a result of accommodation challenges in the implementing schools.
The Minority also revealed that the quality of feeding has been compromised with students poorly fed compared to the previous system where they were well catered for.
“The free SHS is a noble social and political objective provided it can be realized but not when it is dedicated to a select few with the exemption of second and third years, it raises questions about equity and universality”
“We are even more fundamentally worried and concerned, particularly that we have not been able to deal conclusively with the problems affecting basic education, from primary one to six and to JHS let alone say we are resolving all the problems at the level Senior High School”.
“Per the budget they brought to us, annually they will need a minimum one billion Ghana Cedis to finance free SHS. In the 2017 budget they had a budget of about 780 to 790 million Ghana cedis that anticipated only first years. Next year will be the second year times two. Even 790 times two or one billion times two gives you a minimum of two billion as requirement to finance it….into the third year where they have all the three year groups going they have to prepare for three billion”, he said.
He called on government to also make adequate budgetary allocation available for the continuous payment of teacher trainee allowances on sustainable basis as promised.