Free Senior High School (SHS) policy is not a political gimmick, rather, it is supporting and giving equal opportunities to the poor, less privileged and those at a disadvantage to succeed, Minister for Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum has said.
According to him, there were just few innovations and interventions needed to support students improve their skills in the schools.
Dr Adutwum was speaking at the official opening of the 29th Annual Conference of Directors of Education (CODE), Tuesday in Accra on the theme “Sustainability of Free Pre-Tertiary Education; The Surest Step to Human Resource Development.”
He noted that, about 48 schools in the country where the pass or transition rate from SHS to the University was one per cent or less and about 50 per cent of SHS schools where the pass rate from A1 – C6 was 10 per cent which does not represent well and could be better.
“We are not supporting students with challenges, they just memorise what they are thought to write in their exams, and if what they memorised is not in the exams then the failures starts,” he said.
Dr Adutwum hinted that there were going to be some changes on how schools were run in the SHS.
“I believe if a student is not doing well and cannot read in school, there should be a way out, I don’t understand why students should be studying 10 subjects meanwhile they cannot read, why don’t we cut down the 10 subjects to at least 8 so we introduce reading and writing courses to improve their skills,” he suggested.
Adding that on the part of the ministry, it has started equipping the SHS schools as well as strengthening the Junior High Schools with some computer labs, chemistry labs and infrastructures in communities.
“We are providing labs to existing schools as well, so that Junior High Schools would all be equipped before they get to SHS’s and the Universities, so far we have about 100 school list which would, from next weekget new computer labs constructed,” he disclosed.
Dr Adutwum acknowledged that the education sector was doing very well compared to order countries, and people should challenge themselves to do better and not be complacent with their current state.
“We have to appreciate that we are moving forward although that is not where we want to be, appreciating our progress would build ourselves efficacy as a nation,” he said.
BY ANITA ANKRAH