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Opinions of Monday, 23 October 2017

Columnist: Setor Nyadroh

Free SHS; a sham or a reality

The Free SHS was officially launched on September 12 by President Nana Akufo-Addo The Free SHS was officially launched on September 12 by President Nana Akufo-Addo

I have always believed that for Ghana to truly live up to the ideals and vision of the founding father Dr. Kwame Nkrumah that “the independence of Ghana is meaningless unless it is linked to the total liberation of Africa” the masses must be educated. This statement was true and relevant at the time of independence and even more relevant today.

Ghana’s educational system has been dysfunctional in relation to the larger vision expounded by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. Ernie Fletcher, an American statesman once said that “education is our greatest opportunity to give an irrevocable gift to the next generation. In light of this I congratulate His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa for the implementation of the Free Senior High School (SHS) program-‘nnipa y? adea ?s? ayeyi’.

More so I want to congratulate the former president John Mahama for his initiative and approach to the implementation of the Free (SHS) program under Article 25 of the constitution of the republic.

After about six weeks into the academic year, it has become increasingly clear the later approach and foresight have been and would be facilitative in the full implementation of the Free SHS. The Free SHS is riddled with enormous challenges most of which is almost foreseeable but yet being faced all over the country.

The lack of adequate facilities to accommodate students, as a result some have to stand during lesson periods and overcrowding in the classrooms hampering effective teaching and learning. Some pupils who completed previously were denied access because the current module failed to capture them. Denying these pupils entry to Free SHS is a failure of the system and a doom for our country and future.

Lack of access to the boarding house for deserving students who were given schools outside of their communities of residence, some of these students ages between eleven and fifteen are being forced to be day students. The result of this is catastrophic since these students are exposed and are experiencing sexual harassment from unscrupulous individuals within their neighborhood without any protection whatsoever.

It is against this backdrop that I will like to suggest a review of the current implementation module and coordination with the previous government to complete the community day senior high schools under the Senior Education Improvement Program (SEIP) to reduce the pressure on the existing schools and also reduce government expenditure on boarding fees and also ensure continuity of this beautiful program should there be a change of government.
If it is worth doing then it’s worth doing right!
God Bless Our Homeland Ghana

By: Setor Nyadroh