Feature Article of Thursday, 26 July 2012

Columnist: Tornyi, Emmanuel

Free SHS Should Be Scraped If Implemented

For sometime now in the political discourse of Ghana, we are being told that thousands of students graduate from the Junior High Schools and therefore cannot continue with their education simply because the students cannot afford to pay gargantuan school fees when admitted in the Senior High Schools.
Most of these students are found in self employment by street hawking whiles some indulge in petty trading or either wise engaged in social violence such as robbery etc.
Politicians have forgotten that our educational scheme is not of the best standards and instead of analyzing the problem and fixing the problem, they all embark of cheap political talk whenever they mount the platform or rather resort to insult.
Our educational policy has been politicized and directly having a negative effect on our children and the future. Students go to school only to learn thousands of subjects which at the end doesn’t benefit the student after completion.
You are by hook or crook forced to study all to enable you attain the desired result before gaining admission to the senior high and if you fail one, you then becomes a school drop-out with little or no hope of continuance.
Now, with the unrealistic free senior high by the New Patriotic Party and other political parties, it appears that they want to add more problems to what we are facing as a country.
Already our basic education has also fallen below standard and no quality in the educational system.
The huge problem is UNEMPLOYMENT which keeps rising by the day. How can thousands of students graduate from the senior high and stay at home without job? Instead of channeling the resources in building technical and vocational institutes to build a vibrant and artistic Ghanaians who can be self-employed and take up the industries in Ghana for maximum production, they promise unrealistic free senior school.
Students who study various courses at the SHS come out with no hope of furthering their courses. If education becomes a matter of money, then only the riches would go to school and if that is the bottom line, but we do not want education to be a matter of money, there are too many very bright people who should have access to education but there would be no quality if it is free because it is not doable.
Even though some parents cannot afford to pay colossal sums of fees, their wards should be given valuable artistic training which can get them some income when they complete than street hawking which poses various threat to them.
When some of these politicians were asked how it would cost them in achieving their dubious promise of free school, they don’t even know the amount and its source of funding this improbable dream of theirs. Therefore how can these be taken serious.
Some have promised to use JUDGMENT DEBT to fund free school. Are we serious as a country with our educational policy?
Ghanaians must not put their destiny in the hands of politicians especially those promising free school.
In a sustainable job creation for the youth, the current competitive global environment must seek to gain an advantage over the competition from other states which need to focus on creating a skilled and educated workforce as the global competition ultimately comes down to skills and not free school which will churn out millions of unemployed graduates.
Story: Emmanuel Tornyi
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Concerned Citizen