After the storm
The storm over the implementation stage of the free SHS has given way to a welcome calmness. For those who fought tooth and nail to kill the project in its nascent stage they should now use their heads and veer off the unproductive wicked plot to attract political leverage by all means.
They did not believe in the feasibility of the project. Today they have come to terms with the reality that their efforts at derailing the dream project have failed woefully.
The caliber of personnel at the forefront of the flagship project is not in doubt. We wish, however, to remind them not to be satisfied with the takeoff and therefore rest on their oars. They are too smart to fall into such a dangerous complacency – we know anyway – but reminding them out of anxiety does not spoil the broth in anyway.
Let them continuously monitor the delivery of teachers with a view to ensuring that the beneficiaries of the programme get good quality education.
The conduct of some school heads makes such monitoring even more crucial.
We recall the assumption of the antagonists of the free SHS programme that anything gratis is not good suggesting that the project is going to churn out half baked products. Such pessimists would commence their warped assessment of the programme for propaganda purposes. While their diabolic intentions do not have any bearing on the programme, we, nonetheless, must ensure that beneficiaries come out well baked for the tertiary institutions and other professions outside this bracket they intend to pursue.
The country’s human resource development cannot be compromised hence the need for all to join hands in supporting the agenda at hand.
A few days ago, the Planning Minister Prof George Gyan-Baffuor announced a possibility of a reversal of the SHS duration to four years as opposed to the current three.
We recall the confusion which enveloped the proposal to reduce the duration and the various reasons adduced for the decision.
The minister’s announcement is ample suggestion that the authorities are not only monitoring the quality of the free SHS project but considering the overall picture with a view to taking appropriate action where necessary.
The free SHS is intended to deliver not only free education at the secondary level but good quality schooling so that those who pass out would not be found wanting.
Periodic engagement with teachers, school heads and other players in the SHS system with a view to finding out challenges requiring intervention is necessary especially at this initial stage of the project.
Continuous assessment of teachers and by teachers is a sure way of ensuring that the envisaged good quality education is achieved.
Truancy by both teachers and students should not be entertained; the capital outlay is too much for complacency.