Twum-Barimah hits hard at Gov’t over impromptu SHS academic calender

Private legal practitioner Alexander Twum-Barimah has criticised the Akufo-Addo government for failing to complete the community day senior high schools that were initiated by the erstwhile Mahama administration.

Reacting to the postponement of the reopening date for final year senior high students from last week to May 5, Twum-Barimah said the Conference of Heads of Assisted  Secondary Schools (Ghana) had pointed to the government that there was inadequate infrastructure to house the final year high students whilst other students were in school.

He said the government rolled out the free senior high school programme withoit putting into account the  infrastructure the various schools had hence the congestion that is negatively affecting the academic activities of thefinal year senior high students.

“We needed to have put up good measures in place before rolling it [Free SHS] in the manner in which we did it. If I am correct, one of the reasons these students are back home is because of [the lack of] infrastructure,” he told Morning Update host Eric Ahianyo.

“You [the government]  should have expected that [congestion and planned towards it],” the lawyer added.

He said the John Mahama administration commenced the buiding of infrastructure in anticipation of rolling out the policy later hence the Akufo-Addo government should have completed such projects before rolling out the pro-poor policy to avert the inconveniences.

He said his findings indicate that the Community Day Schools by the NDC government, if were allowed to focus on educatiing their respective community members, would have reduced the pressure on government yet the Akufo-Addo government failed to complete them.

Currently, over 1.2 million students are benefitting from the free senior high school policy but it is clear the infrastructure of these schools are unable tocontain the huge numbers being admitted into the secomnd cycle institutions.

It is for this reason that Twum-Barima wants the Ghana government to fastrack the construction of dormitories and classroom blocks to ensure that the free shs policy does not compromise on quality.

Way Forward

To prevent students from losing so much whilst at home, an Educationist, Peter Anti has urged the Ghana Education Service (GES) to factor the learning needs of final year Senior High School students on the Ghana Learning Television.

The Acting Executive Director for the Institute for Education Studies (IFEST) indicated developing a new timetable for these students was crucial because of the impromptu restructuring of the academic calendar for third-year high school students.

Peter Anti is Acting Executive Director for IFEST

But Peter Anti believes inasmuch as the GES erred by postponing the reopening date without prior motice to parents, it can still find an avenue to get the students to learn whilst at home.

Speaking on Morning Update on TV XYZ Monday, Peter Anti advised the GES could make arrangements for the final year high school students to be taught on the Ghana Learning Television whilst they await their new reopening date.

“What we have proposed is that the Ghana  Education Service should as a matter of urgency pull down the content on the Ghana Learning Television, restructure it in such a way that it will be suitable for the final year students,” he proposed in an interview with co-host Nana Abena Serwaa.

To him, the new development will enable the students to “have some sort of revision through that particular channel for the time that they are in the house.”



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