Executive Director of the Eduwatch, Mr Kofi Asare has indicated that there are about 4,000 primary schools without Junior High Schools (JHS) nationally.
In the Northern Region for instance, he said, 40 per cent of primary schools lack a JHS.
Students commute more than 10 Km daily to the nearest JHS, causing dropouts, and even where JHS exists, they come without Science, Technology Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) facilities, he said.
Mr Asare was reacting to a press conference organized by the Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum on Sunday January 30.
During the press conference, Dr Adutwum said “If I say I want to change the education system in this country and I leave out STEM, our education will not produce 21st-century outcomes.”
“If you know something about education, the sense of urgency, when it hits, takes you in a different direction, but you have to work with a team. Each will do their part. TVET will do its part. GES will do its part. Everybody will do their part.”
But Mr Asare in a statement said “…the Minister of Education yesterday indicated that, he is building 21st Century JHS, after which 12 primary schools will now attend one JHS. I am informed this strategy will reduce the number of JHS from the current 11,000 to about 2,500, instead of increasing the number to 15,000 to achieve parity with primary schools.
“This clearly contradicts the strategy approved by cabinet in the ESP which rather seeks to reduce the travel distance to school and supply more JHS to underserved areas.
“The meaning is, pupils will now walk longer distances or pay more for transport to JHS, at a time many students cannot even afford exercise books in Teshie Basic Schools in Accra. And did I hear him mention that even though its a pilot, 100 million is being spent on this?
“When did all these become part of the reform and on the basis of which strategy and data? Are we reducing or expanding inequality in our basic education system? What plans has the MoE to provide JHS with STEM facilities to all schools, not a few? Has anyone seen a policy document? Is there a new ESP we are unaware of? What at all is happening? Ministry of Education GH Ghana Education Service.”