Minister for Education Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh has scored the Free Senior High School (SHS) education policy as the most successful programme of the ministry over the past three years.
Since the policy was introduced in 2017, he said the education ministry was on top of affairs, but described the challenges that came along with its implementation as “simple, clear and minimum”.
Dr Prempeh said this during a panel discussion on the topic: “Protecting the vulnerable through enhanced access to education, jobs and social services,” on the second Day of Ghana Results Fair 2020.
The three-day national fair was on the broad theme: “Delivering results for our citizens: A work in progress.”
Ghana’s education ministry is undergoing reforms in all of its five sectors: Basic education, senior high, tertiary, teacher reforms and, technical and vocational education and training.
Dr Prempeh said the reforms required much attention and input for national economic development.
Before the Free SHS programme, he said about 100,000 Junior High School graduates received placements in various Senior High institutions, but could not afford the cost, while a high number of those enrolled dropped out along the line.
He said the double track system was a temporary intervention and was not a means to compromise the quality of secondary school education.
Currently, 398 out of 721 schools run the double track system due to high intake, but the minister said contact hours also increased to 1,134 hours from 1,080 to make teaching and learning more effective.
In the previous system, he said students stayed on vacation for five months during each academic year, but with the double track, they stayed for six months to make up the lost time.
He added: “The programme is running successfully and all qualified students deserve to be in school as quality is being enhanced progressively.”