Free SHS concept is mere propaganda – Ziggah

Mr Samuel Richard Ziggah, Chief Patron of the University of Education, Winneba (UEW) branch of the Tertiary Institutional Network (TEIN) has said that the concept of  free Senior High School (SHS) being espoused by the New Patriotic Party (NPP)  is mere propaganda intended to baffle Ghanaians, especially the rural folks.

He wondered whether Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo- Addo, New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential candidate who said he had budgeted for the programme, had also budgeted for the reduction of the number of years of training for qualified teachers.

Mr Ziggah who is also a Senior Lecturer at the UEW, said these while addressing members of TEIN on the topic “Free Senior High School, a Miracle” at a meeting in Winneba.

He said it was about time Ghanaians watched out for hungry and angry politicians and ignored them.

According to Mr Ziggah, the current population of the country was 24.7 million based on the 2010 Housing and Population Census and also the 2008 Ghana Living Standard Survey put the percentage of Ghanaians aged 15-19 at 11.2 per cent for both male and female.

He said currently the number of public SHS in the country was 474 and 126 private institutions, totalling 600 institutions.

“Assuming the private schools cater for eight per cent of the rest of the population it means a total of 1.4 million students are enrolled.”

Mr Ziggah said based on available statistics, the more pressing problem was the expansion of tertiary education and not spending on SHS products who had no place to learn real life skills to prepare them  to contribute positively in the society.

“Let us ask ourselves the following questions: For the NPP’s eight years in office, how many universities did they establish? Which aspect of the SHS is going to be free – is it the boarding and lodging, text book user fee? Are PTA dues also going to be paid by the government? Do we have the classrooms and the dormitories whiles  60 per cent of our schools are still under trees? Have we sat down to realise the effect of large class size on effective teaching and learning?”, he argued.

Mr Ziggah said NDC believed in quality education and wanted dormitories, science laboratories, ICT centres to be built cross board. “Above all,  trained professional teacher for the job are essential before the nation can embark on the journey for free SHS”, he said, adding that the NDC was not against free education in the country.

Source: GNA

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