Mahama reiterates review of free SHS policy to safeguard quality

Former President John Mahama, has reiterated the need to review the free Senior High School (SHS) policy to safeguard quality.

“It is not too late for the government to review the free Senior High School policy in order to safeguard quality in the face of incessant challenges bedeviling the implementation,” he stated.

According to the former President, the policy could be improved with the introduction of bursary system that targets deprived families while bringing on board private Senior High Schools that had infrastructure to complement the policy.

The policy has been reeling under occasional pressure with the Conference of Assisted Secondary schools either threatening to shutdown the schools over lack of food or inadequate funds to run the policy.

Other professionals are in support of the review of the Free Senior High School policy including three former Vice Chancellors of public universities who are Professor Naana Opoku-Agyeman of the University of Cape Coast, Professor Ivan Addae -Mensah and Professor Ernest Aryeetey both of the University of Ghana.

Speaking at the 8th Biennial National Delegates’ Conference of the Ghana National Association of Private Schools (GNAPS), former President Mahama maintained that his administration had better measures that could enhance the policy.

He revealed that there were available information on large number of existing private Senior High Schools with enough facilities that could have been utilised to avert immediate infrastructure that the public system had brought about following implementation of free Senior High School.

“Engaging private schools would have saved parents and students from the psychological torture, unpleasant experience, unplanned cost they have encountered with introduction of the double track system and introduction of the policy had compelled parents to withdraw their wards from school. 

“When the free Senior High School system was introduced it was restricted to only students in public schools and parents moved their children from the private secondary schools to public schools to take part in double track system,” former President Mahama decried.

He insisted on the call for a national stakeholder conference to review implementation of the policy to enhance standards of secondary education and any opportunity to encourage the government to consider national stakeholder conference to review the implementation of the policy would be embraced.

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