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Govt must listen to stakeholders’ concerns on free SHS policy – Carbonu

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Angel Carbonu, President of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), is continuing demands for the government to evaluate its educational policy, free SHS, and address any loopholes that have hampered the scheme’s success.

Stakeholders in the educational sector have urged the government to reconsider the program, which has been fraught with difficulties.

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On his national tour, former President John Dramani Mahama restated his promise to reassess the policy if re-elected in the 2024 elections.

However, in an interview with Citi FM, Education Minister Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum dismissed such suggestions, arguing that the free SHS requires adjustments rather than a review.

While conceding that the strategy has been criticized, Dr. Adutwum underlined that it has to be improved in certain areas rather than being completely overhauled.

However, the President of NAGRAT emphasized the importance of the government listening to stakeholders’ concerns when revising the free SHS.

He noted the double-track system, which is not completely implemented at some Senior High Schools owing to a shortage of infrastructure.

“My union has already called for a review of the free SHS programme. For every project you do, you need to subject yourself to periodic reviews, to identify challenges and sharpen the blunt edges for your good. When you get to most of the schools, you have infrastructure and resources deteriorating. One of the reasons the government is unable to bring the double track to an end is that GETFund is not able to put up the facilities as planned. Because the Ministry of Finance is unable to transfer back to GETFund the total amount of GETFund component of taxes and revenues being collected in this country.”

He stressed, “Education is owned by the people, so you bring stakeholders to a forum to jaw-jaw. And come out with an education policy that will inure to the benefit of all. That is the position NAGRAT held, and we have held this position for more than the past 4 or 5 years. Government is for everybody, so we need to listen to all people in this country and come up with an educational policy that is all-encompassing.”

He recommended the government to redirect funding to other areas of education.

“The funding of free SHS is short-changing something somewhere that is crying for resources. The review will have to be all-encompassing – infrastructure, educational and teaching materials are very important,” he opined.

 

 

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