The Minister for Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, has stated that the double-track system within the Senior High School (SHS) level in the country is bound to take about five to seven years before it would be totally eliminated from the second cycle institutions.
He explained that the Free Senior High School (FSHS) that has come under the Nana Addo-led administration was built on five pillars: equity, expansion and infrastructure, quality education, access and skills development, and to achieve these fundamental values, it would take some time to establish these grounds before bringing it to a halt.
More so, the number of students enrolling in the second cycle institutions from 2014 to 2016, as compared to the first year of the FSHS implementation, the number of children has ballooned to a high level of 43 percent, and there is a need to have enough infrastructure and the right personnel to execute this plan.
He made this revelation on Wednesday in Accra during a press briefing to highlight the success stories chalked by the ministry for the second time this year.
“By the time we finish this year’s admissions, the population in our schools would be about 1.2 million. It means that we … have moved the population of our secondary school by 43 percent, that is, more kids who, otherwise, were being wasted are in school, and it is better for Ghana.”
“It is better for the kids to be in the classroom than outside the classroom,” the Minister added.
He reiterated that since ex-president John Mahama was the of the first chairpersons for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the world has turned its eye on the country to make sure it achieved the SDG goals, especially, goal number four, thus, all kids should have access to higher education before 2030.
And to achieve a certain developmental status, there is the need to make sure that all children gets access to the free system and the necessary infrastructure be put in place before the country can be tagged with a label as advanced.
He gave a chronology of how some students who had the grades failed to enter the secondary level years back due to financial problems, and were forced to stay at home, and now, majority of them are busily learning to improve upon the human capital of this nation.
Dr. Prempeh added that there is a new curricular in place and it is going to reintroduce the history of the nation to the children, and make sure that the kids grasp our values as a nation from an early stage, know where we started, and where we are going.
This same curricular, as it was prepared by Ghanaian experts, would change the face of education and imbibe some moral values and aid them to be critical thinkers in the country.
On the Tertiary Education front, the Dr. Opoku Prempeh hinted that there were some reforms that would be rolled out to help the government have an eye on some executions being done within the public universities.
He said that these reforms are very standard and transparent, and practiced in many of the world’s top institutions, and it would protect the lecturers, secure their work, and eliminate monopoly and some autocratic attitudes in some senior officers in the public universities, where one would work for years without seeing no promotion whatsoever, for this has been one of the biggest problems he has received since he came into office.