Founder of the All People’s Congress (APC), Hassan Ayariga, has asserted that the Free Senior High School (SHS) policy has not yielded the desired impact since its introduction by the ruling government.
He said the implementation of the programme has been characterised by flaws that have resulted in eroding the quality of education in the country’s high schools, adding that education has become more expensive than before.
In an interview on Prime Morning, Wednesday, Mr Ayariga claimed that “now we have free education but we don’t have quality.”
“Now, we’ve destroyed all those very intelligent schools and very competitive schools that were doing so well because of free education. Free education shouldn’t be free to everyone; those of us that can pay let us pay and those that cannot pay, let them get that opportunity,” he told Prime Morning Host, Jay Foley.
He said the policy has failed to serve its purpose because there are not enough classrooms, infrastructure and teaching and learning materials needed to enhance the acquisition of knowledge in schools.
“If you talk about free education, you need infrastructure to build the free educational system. That is why the Free Education has also crushed; it’s very expensive now than before.”
He argued that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) usually promises to embark on policies such as the Free SHS just to win votes but not to transform the country.
“Delivering and not being a corrupt, dedication to the promises you make, implementing them and having proper blueprints…those are what the NPP didn’t have.
“That is why you see that NABCo has crushed, one district-one factory crushed, planting for food and agriculture crushed because if you go to the market, the prices of foodstuff are higher than before. You don’t need a lot of comparisons, just pick one or two items,” he noted.
Meanwhile, President Akufo-Addo has noted that he is proud of the performance of the Free SHS graduates.
He said the WASSCE results of students under the policy have further given credence that the policy is a success.
Speaking at the 70th-anniversary celebration of the Tamale Senior High School, President Akufo-Addo acknowledged that although there have been some challenges with the implementation of the policy, he is proud of its impact so far.
“The WASSCE results of the second batch of students under the Free SHS policy indicates that 54% of students recorded A1 to C6 in English as opposed to 51.6% in 2016, 65.7% recording A1 to C6 in Integrated Science in 2021 as opposed to 48.35% in 2016, 54.11% recording A1 to C6 in Mathematics whiles 56.03% in Social Studies.”
“In 2015 it was 29.2%, in 2016 it was 31.4%, in 2017 it was 34.7%, in 2018 31.3%, in 2019 it was 46.3% and in 2020 45.8%. Surely, there can no longer be any controversy about the validity of the Free SHS policy and its consequential measures, it is working,” he said.