The deputy general secretary for pressure group, Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG), Wesley Owusu, has hit back at the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) over its recent comments on the Free Senior High School policy.
The leadership of NDC as well as the party’s communications team have heavily criticized the government on the policy and how its implementation has been met with challenges, ranging from inadequate accommodation facilities, furniture, inadequate classrooms and delay in the release of funds for feeding among others.
In a video footage that has gone viral on social media, a number of students believed to be schooling in one of the senior high schools in the Northern Region are seen washing their clothes in a stream. The students who interacted with Sammy Gyamfi, a national communications director aspirant of the NDC, said they had to walk out of school for a while to be able to get access to water for washing.
The footage has raised questions of the quality of education given these teenagers in the name of Free SHS, but Wesley does not believe quality has been compromised in the Senior High Schools.
Speaking to Kwame Minkah on ‘Ete sen’ on Radio XYZ 93.1, he said the problems being attribute to the roll out of the Free SHS were in existence before the New Patriotic Party was voted to power in 2016, arguing that the government could not have waited to tackle all challenges in the education sector before implementing the Free SHS.
“Education cannot wait for all infrastructure to be in place before rolling out the Free SHS,” he contended.
He said the programme has created a level playing space for all children, regardless of the economic muscles of their parents or guardians, adding that the double track system that was introduced this year is to pave way for more students to get admission into second cycle institutions, which would not have happened but for the introduction of the double track system.
He appreciated the fact that there were challenges confronting the policy, government had showed so much commitment to dealing with them to make education easier for Junior High School leavers.
“what’s the point in having an empty school during vacation when there are students sitting at home?” he asked Kwame.
To him, the free education is a tool for massive development in the country and should be embraced so well regardless of the challenges which are surmountable.