Professor of Political Science at the University of Ghana Ransford Gyampo has called for an independent assessment of the Free Senior High School initiative by the Akufo-Addo-led government to ascertain the shortfalls within the program.
He said if the government wishes to assess the Free SHS program, it should be done independently rather than letting the Ghana Education Service(GES), whose head is a political appointee to embark on the assessment of the program under its auspices.
Dr. Gyampo posited that an independent assessment into the Free SHS program will help government come to terms with the real challenges hurdling the well-embraced program in the educational sector of the country.
To him, an independent assessment of the Free SHS program will enable government to come up with solutions to enrich the initiative to have a lasting impact in the country.
He posed the question of whether government is still going to continue with the Free SHS program, especially now that they complain the country doesn’t have enough funds in its coffers.
He has however described the Free SHS program as a fundamental miscalculation on the part of the Akufo-Addo-led government because government pumped a lot of resources into the program at the detriment of other social interventions.
Dr. Gyampo said this in an interview with Kwame Tutu on the 100 degrees program on Onua TV.
He was speaking on the back of the government’s drive to let the Ghana Education Service(GES) conduct an assessment into the Free Senior High School program by government to ascertain its weaknesses in order to enhance it.
“When somebody says the educational standard in the country is falling, we may to a large extent agree with the person. But the point is that if the government didn’t intervene in that sector, many people would be left on education due to lack of funds. There are teething issues and challenges with the Free SHS, it’s not just about any politician telling us the Free SHS is good or not.
“I have called for an independent review and assessment of the Free SHS program rather than the Ghana Education Service(GES) whose head is a political appointee to do an assessment of the program. To see genuinely, honestly and candidly what the challenges are with the program and what government can do about it to improve and enhance it”, the political science don posited.
“Are we, as a nation, going to continue on that tangent of Free SHS when there is no money in the coffers of the state? In the last election, what government did was a fundamental calculation because they invested all our strength and funds into the Free SHS program, which was not even enough since we have a lot of challenges with the program. But government pumped all the funds into that program whilst neglecting other pertinent areas that needed equal support from the government.
“I am sure that some of these things accounted for some of the electoral results that we saw for the ruling party. It was a victory repeat of defeat for them and I believe that it was also the over-concentration of effort and attention on Free SHS,” he charged.