Opinions Mon, 6 Aug 2018

Free SHS forever

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Comment: What are you really saying, Mr?

2018-08-06 13:39:29
Comment to:
Free SHS forever

I don't think anybody in Ghana thinks free SHS is a bad idea. Indeed, free education from kindergarten to university is the ideal (as in say Sweden).

The problem we are all talking about in Ghana is how to fund this project and make it successful. That is what we differ about, not if the principle of free education is good or not.

The free SHS promised us by Akufo-Addo was a propaganda thing to win power. Stop saying things like the man believes in free education. We all believe in free education, not Akufo-Addo alone. There is nothing unique in that.

Kwame Nkrumah's free education was different from what we are attempting now. At the time of our independence, there were less than 6 million of us. Today, we are more than 25 million. Free education in Nkrumah's time is different from today. Even in Nkrumah's time there was pressure on the Primary and Middle Schools and I remember the shift system was introduced - one track went in the morning, the other in the afternoon, after a week, they changed. But there was no double track in secondary schools. There was no need. There were only few secondary schools and the country could afford to have only one track. Even then, those in boading secondary paid for their board and lodge with government subvention. that was when the country had money. Today, we don't have that much and we are a lot more and we are saying even the students should eat free, three times a day. It is a different thing.

Btw, was Nkrumah's free education in 1961? It was a bit later than that even though the policy blueprints had been there a long time ago.

It is correct that we all have to find a way to make this policy succeed. Indeed, that is what those who are finding loopholes in today's proposals are also doing. There is no need to see everything through partisan eyes. That seems, to me, to be what this writer is doing.

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