General News of Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Source: GNA

There is no excuse to delay the introduction of free SHS - Lecturers

A group of lecturers from the various tertiary institutions, calling themselves “Intellectuals for National Development” (IND), have expressed their opinion on the free Senior High School (SHS) discourse, saying it is feasible and cannot wait.

The group said considering the resources of the country, infrastructure and teachers, “there is absolutely no excuse to delay introduction of free SHS in Ghana”.

They said with determination and the right priorities, backed by political goodwill and the integrity of the leadership, nothing was impossible.

Dr George Mainoo, the Communication Director of the group, said this at a press conference held at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi.

He said the inability of previous governments to make education free was mainly due to the lack of funds but the picture was now different as the “nation at the moment had enough resources to meet the full cost of secondary education”.

“Ghana, once a Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of about US$6 billion as at 1992 can now boast of GDP of about US$37.12 billion as at 2012 and a middle income nation.”

He said additionally, it has become an oil-producing country with the potential to become an industrialized nation and that “any action vigorously embarked upon to reduce corruption and setting priorities would make money available for education.”

Highlighting some benefits the country stood to gain with the policy, Dr Mainoo said it has the potential to provide abundant and quality supply of human resources to support its industrialization.

Again, it would improve the quality of life and income levels of the people as parents could save money for other things.

He rejected the claim that the free SHS could compromise the quality of the nation’s education saying the policy “implies the provision of a comprehensive educational programme emanating from the 1992 constitution and emphasizing principles of social justice for every Ghanaian school going child, irrespective of his/her background”.