Professor Peter Quartey, Director, Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research, University of Ghana has called for the review of the Government free Senior High (SHS) policy, stating that the initiative was not sustainable.
“From time to time, I have supported the review of the policy and I don’t subscribe to the Government paying for tuition and boarding fees for everybody.
I think parents should be allowed to pay for boarding, there should be a cost-sharing mechanism for the state and the parents,” he said.
Prof Quartey in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra said the policy was faced with challenges of funding and shortages of foodstuffs, stressing that allowing review of the policy would address these bottlenecks.
“Educating the people is one of the priorities of the Government that I strongly support. I am an advocate for free SHS, but not in its current form because it is not sustainable for the country’s revenue strength, “he said.
He stated that where the country had reached, there was the need for some revision to be undertaken to sustain the policy and ensure quality education and as well run the school better looking at the country’s finances, the country cannot continue subsidizing everybody.
“There are day schools around, many of us attended day School which did not prevent us from achieving our future aim, there are a lot of day Schools around for students who cannot afford the boarding fees, saying where it is practically impossible then the scholarship Secretariat can offer scholarships to selected students who deserved,” he said.
The Government, he said, could use part of the free SHS money to support productive areas where the country needed the money most.
The Professor said the free SHS had in a way affected the quality of education because the schools were not getting enough funding to run the schools, stressing that the country needed to streamline the whole process from the contact hours to the double-track system.
He said government funding to education declined or suffered over a decade and not only during the free SHS, calling on governments to prioritize education for sustainable socio-economic development.
Prof Quartey called on authorities to ensure strict supervision in the public schools even though they have trained teachers but the students performed poorly compared to the private schools.
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