A former Rector of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) Professor Stephen Adei has called for a review of some of the government’s flagship programmes.
For instance, he said, the Free Senor High School (Free SHS) and the Agenda 111 projects can reviewed in view of the economic hardships facing the country and the government itself.
Speaking in an interview with TV3’s Paa Kwesi Asare on Monday October 31, he said “we have to review some of the flagship projects, for example, should we do all the agenda 111 when you are under a serious crisis? I think that there must be a dispassionate review.
“Even calling on parents to say that, look, Free SHS, you have free books, free this and but people must pay for their Children food at this moment. Why? Because only half of the are benefiting from the food. so why this discriminatory.”
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo recently said the success of access and improvement of results chalked for the Free SHS policy make it sceptical for him to consider a review.
The President was responding to questions on a local radio station in Nkawkaw as part of his recent tour of the Eastern Region.
“I have to confess my attitude because when I hear the word ‘review’ I hesitate. Because the first people who are calling for the policy review opposed the policy. If those who didn’t want it are now calling for review, then my understanding is that, they want to review to reverse the policy.”
The President took to a defense that the outcome from the Free SHS policy was enough.
“So across board not only have we gotten access, but we have seen a significant improvement in outcomes. We don’t want this to continue, we are going to review it so that all of this improvement is in jeopardy. These five years of implementation of this policy, both of these things have been established. The data is here, Pass rate in English Language has improved from 33 percent in 2016 to 54.5 percent, Integrated Science 48.5 percent to 65.7 percent and Social Studies 54.5 percent to 66 percent.”
He suggested it would be unnecessary tampering with the two fundamental thrusts of the policy and asked that those calling for review come clear on areas needed for the review.
“But the two fundamental thrusts of the policy, one was expand access, that has been dramatically achieved. The other was to improve quality outcomes of education. The outcomes of the Free SHS Policy are a major improvement of the Pre-SHS data that we have.
“The policy is not cast in stone, it can be looked at, yes, but what we cannot do is to tamper with these two fundamentals things; access, we have to make sure everybody irrespective of their social origin, no matter their financial background has access to good quality secondary education.
“Because everybody recognises that this is a very important step for progress of our country. I have to confess, I am somehow skeptical when I hear this discussion of let’s review.
“I am not saying that those elderly people or clergy criticising don’t have good will for the policy, no I don’t want to be misunderstood. But I want to understand the areas which they are looking for review.”
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana