Gov’t outlines Measures to address Free SHS Infrastructure Challenges

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President Akufo-Addo led government has allocated an amount of Ghc80 million to address the infrastructure challenges relating to furniture and beds triggered by the introduction of the free SHS policy. Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh, the Minister for Education, has hinted. 

President Nana Akufo-Addo recently announced that contracts will soon be awarded for the provision of 69,500 single desks and 13,100 bunk beds to Senior High Schools across the country.

“…so those that have brought the list, we have done tenders and we will be buying them and supplying them to the schools. But I sincerely believe that if the government is determined to do this, a child should still have access to the school to study and learn than to be thrown on the street at the age of 15,” Dr. Opoku Prempeh said.

He debunked reports that the increased enrollment under the Free Senior High School policy is solely to blame for cases of congestion and infrastructure deficit being experienced in some schools.

Speaking at the Meet-the-Press series in Accra, he disclosed that the Ministry of Education is in talks with West African Examination Council (WAEC), to ensure that from 2018 academic year, the West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) is written in May.

This, he said, would ensure that the full nine terms of teaching and learning are fully exhausted by students as required by the syllabus

He said the change is expected to improve results for final year students since they would have adequate time to prepare for their examination.

“The SHS syllabus is for nine terms, three terms in a year, so we envisage that by the time the child has finished the nine terms, he or she would be ready to take the West African Senior School Certification Examination. The West African Senior School Certification Examination starts in February, which is the second term, and finishes just the first week in the third term, so it means that the whole of the second term they lost teaching and learning to exams and they never had any teaching and learning for the third term. Meaning that three terms out of the nine wasted, so it was six terms they were using for a syllabus that said nine terms. No wonder the results were poor.”

Mr. Opoku Prempeh explained that, his outfit has met WAEC on the issue, stressing that “we’ve agreed with the West African Examination Council that we don’t want to start the exams in February so this year we hope that the WAEC will start the exams sometime in May so that we would have covered the nine terms before the students start exams.” 

Source: Adovor Nutifafa


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