Free SHS is in crisis – Ofosu Ampofo laments

National Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Samuel Ofosu Ampofo has criticised the Akufo-Addo government for “lowering the standards” in the education sector.

The former minister observed the education sector bequeathed to the ruling NPP is being lowered by the Akufo-Addo led administration which promised to transform the sector more than they met it.

He said the introduction of the Free Senior High School (Free SHS) is not being managed well by the government, leaving innocent pupils to their fate.

Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum is Ghana’a Education Minister

He said the timetable for SHS students under the pro-poor education policy is nothing good to write home about, alleging that it is the reason the government had to quickly procure past questions for final year students to avert being exposed.

“Education is in crisis. If you ask someone for the country’s education timetable, they can’t even tell you,” he told XYZ Tonight host Prince Minkah. “The government is spending millions to procure past questions. That shouldn’t have been the priority at all.”

“Buying of pasco [past questions] for SHS students is never the solution to the lowering standards in the education sector,” he advised.

Ofosu Ampofo also lamented the cowering of assertive teachers and headmasters by the government, saying it is negatively affecting the foundation of the country’s basic education.

“There is a culture of silence and intimidation in the sector that is why the teacher unions are not talking. They are afraid of the repercussions of speaking up,” he emphasized and revealed many teachers have been complaining of the failing education standards under the Akufo-Addo government’s Free SHS programme.

Challenges of Free SHS

The challenges confronting the free SHS programme have been reiterated to the government ever since the policy was birthed in 2017.

Students, parents and teachers have listed the challenges as lack of accommodation facilities resulting in students sleeping on the floor, and congestion in classrooms.

Other challenges pointed out by stakeholders are: the inconvenience relating to erratic schedules for the double-track system, poor quality of food served to students, little attention to end of semester examinations and minimal contact hours.

In May this year, the Ghana Education Service (GES) rallied the support of parents, students and other stakeholders for the Free SHS Policy, and promised the challenges bedeviling the implementation of the pro-poor policy would be tackled.



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