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General News of Friday, 27 July 2018

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Government needs not to consult NDC over free SHS - Deputy Education minister

Government has stated emphatically, it will not back down on implementing free Senior High School promise despite mounting criticisms over its troubled implementation.

Deputy Education minister Dr. Yaw Adutwum has told Joy News, manifesto promises for which the government was elected to fulfil are non-negotiable.

The government has been facing criticisms, its free SHS policy was not well thought through despite preaching it for eight years while in opposition.

Two months after re-opening, government has announced a double-track system to resolve severely congested classrooms after enrolment rates shot up due to free SHS.

The new system will see a marked departure from a 60-year old system. In this new Double Track system, the class size is divided into two tracks so that while one track is in school, the other is on vacation and vice-versa.

Government has been accused of introducing an ill-thought out policy to correct challenges created by another ill-thought-out promise.

There is pressure on the government for wide consultation over the double track system with parents, teachers expressing misgivings and lack of understanding over the new direction.



The Finance minister Ken Ofori-Atta has also suggested a rethink of the free SHS policy observing some parents are willing and able to pay.

Critics also say the government should have expanded infrastructure before introducing free SHS.

But the deputy Education minister has insisted, the government consulted all those who matter. The opposition NDC, he indicated needs not to be consulted over free SHS implementation.

"Four years from now if we are being judged on the implementation of our manifesto promises, they are not going to ask the NDC".



"They will ask Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo did you make good on your pledge?", he said.

He expressed reservations over claims that the Akufo-Addo government has put education system in jeopardy over free SHS implementation. Some critics say the policy will affect the quality of teaching and learning because of large class sizes.

But Dr Yaw Adutwum wondered how the implementation of Free SHS could amount to jeopardising education system when the government puts huge funds into making sure every Ghanaian student qualified to go to school gets the chance including the economically disadvantaged.



“I believe it is important that we should have an institution that will take care of people and that will be a more lasting legacy for all of us as a people,” he added.

Mr Boadu, however, rejected the criticism that the NPP government has neglected legacies put in place for the late John Evans Atta Mills.

A section of the public and some members of the minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) have accused the government of neglecting the John Evans Atta Mills Presidential Library in Cape Coast built in memory of the former President.