‘Free SHS will make quality of education worse due to lack of infrastructure’ – Prof Ernest Aryeetey

free shs will make quality of education worse due to lack of infrastructure prof ernest aryeetey scaled
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A former Vice-Chancellor (VC) of the University of Ghana (UG) says the quality of education in the country’s second cycle institutions is being sacrificed.

Prof Ernest Aryeetey, says despite increasing the student intake, the Free SHS initiative is worsening the already-declining state of secondary education and has not been matched by corresponding resources.

Speaking at the 10th Leadership Dialogue Series by the Centre of Social Justice (CSJ), he said the myriad of problems in the public secondary institutions calls for crucial discussions.

“It is important to accept that the decline in quality of education did not begin with Free SHS, but Free SHS will make it worse. It is going to make it worse because the schools will never have the infrastructure that they need.

“Because they don’t have the infrastructure and teachers…the quality won’t come. If you want good schools, you spend money on them,” he stated.

With many Ghanaians lamenting the current state of the country’s economy, some people have called for the review of the Free SHS.

According to a former UG Vice-Chancellor Prof Ivan Addae-Mensah, the policy has not yielded the desired impact since its introduction by the ruling government.

“I must be frank when it comes to its effect on the quality of education, I won’t give it anything than four, probably less. If anything at all, it has lowered the standard of education.

“I wouldn’t say that is wrong. But when you produce people who after going through school for 10 years, can’t even spell their own names or read an English sentence correctly, then I wouldn’t say quality has improved,” he told JoyNews.

An economist and the Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission, Professor Stephen Adei expressed the same view on the Free SHS policy.

In an interview on JoyNews’ Upfront, he explained that despite the numerous advantages of the Senior High School policy, the already worsened economy is being stretched by the policy because the government has to allocate about ¢7.5 billion every year to the policy.

According to him, the government must exempt some so-called best Senior High Schools in the country from the policy.

Also, the Akim Swedru MP, Kennedy Nyarko Osei, proposed that the government suspends its flagship Free SHS policy as well as four other social intervention programmes.

President Akufo-Addo, on the other hand, believes otherwise.

According to him, the WASSCE results of the second batch of students under the Free SHS policy, released by WAEC have given further credence that the policy is a success.

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