General News of Tue, 14 Feb 201720
Free SHS should not be implemented in all schools - Ali Tanti
The Director for Youth Alliance Movement, an education NGO, Ali Tanti says the free education policy and concept announced by President Nana Akufo-Addo is laudable but should not be implemented in all schools.
According to him, there are some of the schools capable and resourced enough with their parents well resourced to fund their wards.
There some of the schools that are deplorable with students unable to pay for their education, he added.
He said there are some of the students who are unable to even afford a meal in school and so the policy should be focused on such students.
President Nana Akufo-Addo at the 60th Anniversary celebration Okuapeman School announced that the free senior high school will take off in September.
The president said: government “will fund the cost of public Senior High Schools for all those who qualify for entry from the 2017/2018 academic year onwards… so that no one in Ghana is left in any doubts.”
“By free SHS, we mean that, in addition to tuition which is already free, there will be no admission fees, no library fees, no science centre fees, no computer lab fees, no examination fees, no utility fees; there will be free textbooks, free boarding and free meals, and day students will get a meal at school for free.”
He further stated that the “free SHS will also cover agricultural, vocational and technical institutions at the high school level. I also want to state clearly again that we have a well-thought-out plan that involves the building of new public Senior High Schools and cluster public Senior High Schools.”
But speaking to Kwame Tutu on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm Ali Tanti said, ‘’The policy is very good but we advise government to pilot the implementation in deprived arrears and gradually spread it across the country instead of fully implementing it across board.’’
He said, some of the schools are understaffed, have challenges with accommodation, under-resourced, a situation he lamented de-motivates teachers.
He said we do not have the best of facilities with respect to our school buildings across the country. We have a teacher deficit. Teaching aides are insufficient- statistics have shown that the number of students at both basic and secondary levels drops when students are being admitted at the tertiary and secondary levels.
Government he posited, must prioritize the motivation of teachers, better infrastructure; we may not be able to do everything but we can improve upon them. Everything is on commitment and so if Nana Akufo-Addo has announced that he will implement the free senior high school, he can do it but he must pilot it first.’’