Free SHS will worsen quality of education – Prof Ernest Aryeetey

The system of governance at public schools does not provide enough incentive for the schools, Prof Ernest Aryeetey

Government to encourage Public-Private Partnerships to improve infrastructure at public schools, Prof Ernest Aryeetey

We have no intention to roll back on Free SHS, Ken Ofori-Atta

Former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Prof Ernest Aryeetey, has indicated that even though the decline in the quality of education did not start at the beginning of the Free SHS implementation, the introduction of Free SHS makes it worse.

According to him, this is because the schools will never have the infrastructure that they need as the system of governance at public schools does not provide enough incentive for the schools to want to excel.

Speaking during the 10th Dialogue Series organised by the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), Prof Aryeetey said this is because key decisions are always taken by the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service and not the boards of schools.

“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.

“The system of governance at public schools does not provide enough incentive for the schools to want to excel…there is no public secondary school in Ghana where the school boards run the school. The school boards don’t run the school. They don’t take any important decisions. All the important decisions are taken by the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service.” He said

He called on the government to encourage Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) to improve infrastructure at public schools.

Free SHS, which is one of the NPP’s main political promises, was launched in September 2017, by President Akufo-Addo.

Following the implementation, there have been calls for the policy to be reviewed as many believe that the flagship programme has stretched the already impacted economy seeing that government allocates about GH¢7.5 billion every year to the programme.

But the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has affirmed that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo-led administration has no intention to roll back the Free Senior High School policy.

He noted that the government rather intends to do more to improve the policy.

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