SHSs losing competitiveness; it poses a threat to national development – Prof. Aryeetey

Former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Prof..Ernest Aryeetey, is concerned about the state of Ghana’s Senior High School education.

Speaking at a Leadership Dialogue Series organised by the Centre of Social Justice themed ‘Ghana’s education system, current state, and future aspirations,’ Prof. Aryeetey said Secondary education in Ghana is becoming “less and less competitive.”

He feared that this could threaten social cohesion in the future and undermine national development.

The former University of Ghana Vice Chancellor also proposed that some Senior High Schools should be allowed to demand fees whereas others are made free.

This, he believes will create a fair playing field for students from all walks of life.

“I believe strongly that we need to target people, and the most appropriate way is by means testing. Means testing by the government will reduce the cost of tuition to the government and the monies saved channeled to improving the facilities and providing quality service. We have to find ways of pursuing what best works in our environment. Instead of making SHSs free, why don’t we make some free and others payable.”

“With that, parents get to make a decision based on their strength. Even with the schools that are not free, scholarship opportunities could be created to allow people who are not financially strong to compete for them. That way, we can drag everyone along, poor or rich.”

There have been calls on government to review the Free SHS policy, as it takes a chunk of the country’s resources, and poses a threat to quality, although access has drastically improved.

But the government insists the programme will remain as it is, despite the challenges in the release of funds to the various Senior High Schools.

The tenth edition of the Leadership Dialogue Series held via Zoom under the auspices of the Centre for Social Justice, CSJ, was moderated by Journalist, Mrs. Dzifa Gbeho-Bampoh of TV3.

Aside from the guest speaker, Prof. Ernest Aryeetey, a parent, Dr. Foster Kwawu, and a graduate of the government’s Free Senior High School policy, Ruby Charlene Opoku, participated in the discussion.

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