Be patient in introducing new educational policies – Lecturer tells gov’t

A lecturer at the School of Agriculture, University of Cape coast, Dr Ransford Darko, has advised government to be patient in introducing educational policies to help sustain the free Senior High School (SHS) programme.

Dr Darko said the free SHS policy was introduced to ensure that no qualified student sits at home due to financial constraints, adding that, the Ghana Education Service and government must ensure that the cut-off grade of aggregate 30 is maintained.

He said the cut-off grade will help address some major challenges facing the free SHS policy.

He suggested that government should dwell more on skill training programmes to cater for people, who fall way below the cut-off grades.

Dr Darko gave the advice in an interview with Ghana News Agency on Thursday, in reaction to governments’ decisions to adopt the double track (semester) system to cater for increased enrolment into the second cycle institutions due to the free SHS policies.

Dr Ransford Darko

He said “if government talks about recruiting 8,000 teachers to handle sandwich programmes, what happens to administrators, kitchen and pantry hands as well as some non-teaching staffs.

Dr Darko said even though the double track system, under the free SHS policy was laudable, the long period of vacation may contribute to some deviant behaviours since most students are young and naive.

“The free SHS Policy should be a scholarship programme that will merit those who should meet the cut-off grade.

”If government wants the policy to be done well, they must contact the grass root, which mainly consist of teachers, since they are usually involved at the practical session and have brilliant ideas and knowledge that would benefits their pupils”, he said.

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He suggested that government partners with the Ghana National Union of Private School to share off responsibilities and also inculcate several handiwork skills into students especially those with poor aggregates.