Builsa South MP Dr Clement Abass Apaak has added his voice to the countless call by stakeholders for government to review its flagship Free Senior High School (SHS) programme.
According to him, although there is an increase in enrollment of students in schools, monies invested in the programmes do not correlate to the quality of students produced.
“The Free Senior High School has led to an increase in enrollment but with poor learning outcomes, I think that is very significant.
“It is largely because of that component of poor learning outcomes that justifies the call by John Mahama and the likes of Prof Ayettey, Prof Addae-Mensah, Kofi Asare of Education Watch, and Dr Partey of the Institute of Educational Studies. Are we getting value for money and the answer is no,” he said.
Speaking on JoyNews Newsfile, he explained that his colleagues in academia have raised concerns about the poor standards of students from the second-cycle institution.
“You can call a few of my colleagues who are at the universities and lecturers and ask them, about the quality of students, who are coming through these days. They will tell you that the quality is unsatisfactory.
“There are agitations from colleagues who are in academia, proposing the need to institute entrance examination because we have students who have very good grades and yet when they get to the university they are struggling to cope with tertiary level educational activities,” he said.
When asked if Free SHS is to be blamed for the quality or lack he spoke about, Dr Apaak said “The second cycle institution is the feeder level that feeds into tertiary so when you have lecturers at the tertiary levels complaining about the quality of students that they have to deal with, then we must go back to look at the source of students who go on to take positions at the Tertiary level.”
The Free SHS programme is amongst the sixteen projects the government is expected to review as part of its conditionalities to obtain the second tranche of money from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
On the back of this, Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah on May 24, 2023, revealed that the government already had plans to review the programme.