The call by the International Monetary Fund on the government of Ghana, to review the F ree Senior High School policy, is in tandem with the earlier call by the former president, John Dramani Mahama.
Considering the problems that have characterized the implementation of the Free SHS, there is no better time than now to listen to wise counsel and review the policy, which has been bedeviled with problems, including shortage of food, lack of infrastructure, such as classrooms and dormitories, lack of teaching and learning materials etc.
The need for the review of the Free SHS policy is hinged on the need to improve quality, which has been lacking since the policy was rolled out.
The International Monetary Fund, had asked the government to review some of its flagship programmes, as part of conditionsfor the approval of the 3 billion dollars’ bailout. Among these policies is the Free SHS, which has become an albatross around the neck of the government.
Before the call by the IMF, eminent Ghanaians, including the former President and the presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress, John Dramani Mahama, at various times since the policy was rolled out, called on the government to take a second look at the policy, if the country was going to derive maximum benefit from it.
As recent as last year, addressing delegates at the 8th Biennial Delegate Conference of the Ghana National Association of Private School (GNAPS) in Koforidua, the former President who indicated that free senior high school has come to stay, called on government to consider a national stakeholders’ conference to review its implementation.
“The time is now for us to rise to the occasion and collectively agree as actors in the political and developmental space on the need to depoliticise issues of urgent priority such as education delivery in our country.”
He also stressed that quality of education was just as important as access.
“What is the use of education if it does not have the quality to give the learner a chance and opportunity in life,” the former President quizzed.
The statements of former president Mahama, was twisted to mean he was calling for the cancelation of the free SHS, this propaganda was not only reechoed by the supporters of the NPP, but by president Nana Akufo-Addo.
Now that the IMF, has vindicated the former president, will Akufo-Addo and his party, tell the Bretton Wood institution that, it is also asking the government to cancel the policy?
In cognisance of the myriad of problems confronting the free SHS, the demand by the IMF to the Government to review the policy would not have come at a better time than now.
It is often said that, an educated nation is a developed nation and as such education is the best leveler. This statement has proved true as they are examples abound around the world.
As a newspaper, we welcome the call by the IMF for the government to take a second look at many of its policies, especially the free SHS, as we are convinced that only a well thought out educational policy run on a high principle of achieving quality is capable of churning out fully baked graduates who have the capacity and knowhow to develop the country.