Review free SHS policy

The Free Senior High School (FSHS) policy should be reviewed to address the challenges facing it, Professor Peter Quartey, Director of the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) of the University of Ghana, has said.

He said issues of feeding and accommodation affecting the implementation of the programme should be addressed to ensure its success.

Prof. Quartey gave the suggestion during a presentation on the 2022 Mid-Year Budget Review.

The ISSER Mid-Year Budget Review programme provides opportunity for the organisation to explain the budget and state the institution’s position on it to inform policy making and public discussions.

The programme was sponsored by Agricultural Development Bank and Stannic Bank Ghana.

With Ghana pursuing an International Monetary Fund programme, there are concerns from a section of the public that the FSHS programme will be stopped.

Prof. Quartey said the FSHS, which was a pro-poor policy to give children access to free education should not be scrapped but strengthened.

“Free SHS is something we should all support. An educated population is better than uneducated one,” he said, and stressed that the programme should be maintained.

Prof. Quartey particularly said if women were well educated, they could take better care of their children in terms of medication.

He suggested that Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) could help support the programme, indicating that with the implementation of the free SHS, the contribution of parents and PTAs to education delivery had dwindled.

He said previously PTAs supported the provision of boreholes and payment of electricity bills and PTAs could be made to support education delivery under the FSHS programme.

Prof. Quartey further said the Day School Concept could be strengthened to support the FSHS.

That, he said, could help address the accommodation problem facing the implementation of the policy.

According to Prof. Quartey, the number of students accessing the FSHS was more than the current facilities could accommodate.

Touching on decision of the government to reintroduce road toll, Prof. Quartey said it was a good decision.

“I support the reintroduction of road tolls,” he stated.

The Director of ISSER said with the current economic conditions facing the country, the government alone could not finance the construction of roads.

He said the Public-Private-Partnership could be the best way to go.

Prof. Quartey suggested that the road toll system should be digitised to help the government to rake in more revenue than it previously did because of the human factor.

He said future road toll facilities should be widened to prevent traffic at the toll booths.

BY KINGSLEY ASARE

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