A former Deputy Minister for Communication, Felix Kwakye Ofosu, says Ghana’s education sector is not any better than what the New Patriotic Party (NPP) inherited from the John Mahama government.
This is despite the introduction of the Free Senior High School programme. According to the aide to former President Mahama, many Ghanaians do not support the double track system under the Free Senior High School programme.
The government introduced the double track system in September last year in 400 selected Senior High Schools to reduce class sizes and to increase contact hours between teachers and students.
Speaking to Citi News, however, Mr. Kwakye Ofosu said the free SHS policy has been poorly implemented.
“There are significant problems that are hindering the progress of that sector. There is the obnoxious double track system which 72 percent of Ghanaians, according to a recent poll by the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana think it must go because it is not helping.
“There is congestion that we have witnessed in schools because of how hastily and poorly this policy has been implemented and all the difficulties that it has thrown up. Recently we had to watch the horrible situation of teachers writing on blackboards when they needed to conduct exams because the government had not paid for printing fees. This cannot be a rosy picture. This cannot be a picture that anyone can be proud of.”
The Free SHS policy was a promise the NPP promised to implement during the campaign for election 2008.
The Free SHS policy led to an increase in enrollment triggering concerns about the quality of education received.
It took only seven months for Free SHS education to begin, with the first years, numbering about 400,000 starting school in the 2017/18 academic year.
The policy saw the government absorb the full cost of public secondary education, with beneficiaries not having to pay admission fees, examination fees, and utility fees, among others.
The concerns were heightened when the government implemented the double track system to counter the infrastructure deficit within the various senior high schools.