It will not be wrong if the Akufo-Addo government admits that the flagship Free SHS programme saddled with numerous challenges and affecting the quality of education in the country, former Education Minister, Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang.
The 2020 Vice Presidential candidate for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), who was speaking to Eric Ahianyo on the Morning Update on TV XYZ, bemoaned the government’s approach to dealing with the challenges of the Free SHS programme and asked for the government to listen to stakeholders’ concerns and tackle the challenges.
In her estimation, the government has to lay down a channel to receive complaints from parents and school managers and deal with them rather than painting a picture that depicts all is well with the Free SHS programme.
Confirming the concerns from worried teachers and parents, Prof. Opoku-Agyemang said, “I have picked from many, I’ve picked from students, I’ve picked from parents, I’ve picked from people in the Ministry [of Education] and outside the ministry. they have many stories to tell. And their major concern is that we can’t speak.”
She continued, “So when they come and give me all these litany of complains, my question to them is, but you have your boss; you have your committees, that’s a proper channel [so] why don’t you send all these concerns there so they will reach where they need to reach? [and] they say ‘we don’t even know who to trust, we don’t know who is listening to you and before you know they’ve transferred you’ and I find that very, very unnecessary.”
Asked whether the government has to meet stakeholders to tackle the challenges confronting the government’s flagship programme, she said it was good that some of the stakeholders are talking about the challenges and calling for review of the policy.