The Akufo-Addo government is not ready to cut off boarders from its free Senior High School programme despite several calls by analysts within the educational sector.
Many have asked the government to cover only day students in the free SHS programme in a bid to sustain the social intervention initiative introduced in 2017.
A former Director-General of the National Development Planning Commission, Dr. Nii Moi Thompson had earlier advised government to consider abolishing the boarding system saying that is how it is done in developed countries.
President of Ashesi University, Patrick Awuah, has made a similar suggestion.
Speaking on Citi TV’s current affairs program, the Point of View, Mr. Awuah said:”I think the boarding schools are serving an important purpose because now we do not have enough Senior High Schools but all new high schools that are built should be day schools, and they should be as close to communities as possible so it will be just a walking distance or a short bus drive away from the kids. If you do it that way, you have a much more sustainable system”.
But speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Tuesday, Deputy Minister for Education in charge of General Education, Yaw Osei Adutwum, said government is not considering that option saying: “We felt that the boarding system is a fabric of our education so we did not consider changing it…and not all communities have day schools.”
He argued that a number of deprived students would suffer if such a move is adopted.
“All communities don’t have day schools. It’s not that simple. When you do that you are going to disadvantage those who cannot afford. If you look at Accra, the vast majority of students are in day schools. 76 percent of students in Accra are day students. And Accra schools do very well. Same thing cannot be said in other regions where the location or where the population is distributed does not lend itself to implementation of a very strong day programme,” he stated.
GES to issue schedule for double-track system
On the controversial double-track Senior High School system which has dominated national discourse, the deputy Minister said the Ghana Education Service will soon come out with the schedule for the implementation of the programme.
He also insisted that government did a lot of consultations before adopting the double-track system contrary to claims that it did not.