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Govt must listen to stakeholders’ concerns on free SHS policy – Carbonu

SOURCE: Citi News

The President of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Angel Carbonu, is reiterating calls for the government to review its educational policy, free SHS, to close any loopholes that have been hindering the progress of the policy.

Stakeholders in the educational sector have called on the government to review the policy, which has been characterized by challenges.

Former President John Dramani Mahama, on his national tour, reiterated his commitment to reviewing the policy if elected president in the 2024 elections.

However, the Education Minister, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, in an interview on Citi FM, rejected such calls, stating that the free SHS needs improvements and not a review.

While acknowledging that the policy has faced criticism, Dr. Adutwum emphasized that it requires improvements in specific areas rather than a complete review.

But the President of NAGRAT expressed the need for the government to listen to concerns raised by stakeholders in revamping the free SHS.

He cited the double-track system, which is not implemented fully due to a lack of facilities in some Senior High Schools.

“My union has already called for a review of the free SHS programme. For every project you do, you need to subject yourself to periodic reviews, to identify challenges and sharpen the blunt edges for your good. When you get to most of the schools, you have infrastructure and resources deteriorating. One of the reasons the government is unable to bring the double track to an end is that GETFund is not able to put up the facilities as planned. Because the Ministry of Finance is unable to transfer back to GETFund the total amount of GETFund component of taxes and revenues being collected in this country.”

He stressed, “Education is owned by the people, so you bring stakeholders to a forum to jaw-jaw. And come out with an education policy that will inure to the benefit of all. That is the position NAGRAT held, and we have held this position for more than the past 4 or 5 years. Government is for everybody, so we need to listen to all people in this country and come up with an educational policy that is all-encompassing.”

He advised the government to channel resources into other educational areas.

“The funding of free SHS is short-changing something somewhere that is crying for resources. The review will have to be all-encompassing – infrastructure, educational and teaching materials are very important,” he opined.

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