Senior lecturer at the Accra Technical University, Dr. Daniel Osabutey, says it is too “simplistic” to measure the quality of the free SHS policy with the performance of the first badge of beneficiaries in the WASSCE examination.
A month ago, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, said the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) results of the first batch of the free senior high school (SHS) candidates have justified the decision of the government to invest heavily in free quality education for young people.
But according to the Senior Lecturer, other factors such as the availability of classrooms, should also be considered when determining the quality of the Free SHS policy.
In an interview with Samuel Eshun on e.TV Ghana’s ‘Fact Sheet’ show, he explained: “It will be very simplistic to just conclude by looking at the performance of the first badge of the free SHS students because a lot of things go into performance.
Much will depend on the students, parents, government, district assembly so when you put all these things together, then you are looking at a proper analysis of the free SHS; whether it has enhanced performance or it has rather deteriorated the performance. Has it led to additional performance? So if you look at it that way then it will be too simplistic to say the results show good performance”.
He noted that as it stands the free SHS “hinges on three thematic areas; access, equality and equity”. However, he believes it is important that we look beyond enhancing enrolment by considering other factors that ensure the quality of the access to secondary education.
President Nana Akufo-Addo, as a flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) since 2008, promised to make Senior High School education free. His promise was described by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) as unattainable.
But in 2017, the free senior high school education policy was introduced. That year, there was an 11% increase in enrolment, breaking records from previous years. In the 2017/18 academic year, a new record was set with the highest enrolment ever seen in the country: over 470,000 students enrolled in senior high school.