July 25, 2024

Dear Nana, please do not target the free SHS policy

target the free SHS policy

target the free SHS policy

Dear Nana, please do not target the free SHS policy

The end justifies the means, is the philosophy for many. Am sure you are still in a dilemma regarding the implementation of the policy. At least, the design, structure, and other components of the policy come up for retrospection. There are calls for the policy to be reviewed. The calls are demanding the policy must be targeted. But please, Nana, do not target the free SHS policy.

Need or need for free SHS

Every student would have had a colleague who looks after himself or herself as a student. Such students spend their vacations doing menial jobs to pay their fees. Additionally, such students use school hours to work to survive generally as students. The free Senior High Policy is a respite for such students. Thank you for taking care of all such students who could have dropped out.

Objectives of the policy

The free Senior High School has several objectives. Some of the objectives are certainly major. The major objectives of the policy are
1. To increase access to education
It has proven that fees prevent less endowed students from progressing academically. Also, fees prevent students from being in school daily. There is an increase in enrollment after fees are removed. And all students should not have a monetary reason to be absent from school

2. To improve the quality of education
The free SHS policy has an inherent mechanism to improve the quality of education. Those mechanisms include an increase in contact hours. Also, academic intervention money is paid to teachers to engage the students more. Books and learning materials were expected to be provided adequately

3. To improve educational outcomes
Educational outcomes like pass rate and overall development of the learners were expected to be improved.

Target the free SHS policy

Targeted programs or targeted policies are that policy that is planned for specific groups of people. For example, Livelihood Empowerment against Poverty (LEAP) program is a targeted program. It provides cash and health insurance to extremely poor households across Ghana to alleviate short-term poverty and encourage long-term human capital development.

Universal programs/policies are those that do not discriminate against any class of people in society. An example is the current nature and form of the free senior high school.

Stakeholders are currently debating the need to review the free senior high school program. The call for review is a call to target the program.

The stakeholders including the Africa Education Watch (Eduwatch) are asking the government to target the poor in the society. They believe the government has enough data to determine the most vulnerable. Additionally, they claim that the fundamental challenge the policy faces is funding. Accordingly, since the government can determine the poor, it should enroll only the poor.

That is the program should not include everyone. The stakeholders believe over fifty percent (50%) of the population can take care of their children.

It is believed such people can undoubtedly feed their children. Therefore, they should be asked to pay the feeding fee component of the free SHS

See also: Who will be buying charcoal? The flaws in the free SHS

Why you should not target the free SHS policy

There are valid reasons we believe the program should not be targeted. Though others might think they are irrelevant. But it will be a regrettable mistake if these points are ignored to target the free SHS policy. The people who will be targeted will be the ones who have to pay the fees.

1. Quality of data
One of the frequently referenced targeted programs is the LEAP. However, a lot of people in the LEAP program are not the most vulnerable or the poorest in the communities. Therefore, such people can only be considered if the data is doctored. Otherwise, other reasons below could account for the reason why such unqualified people are on the list of beneficiaries

2. Political target
Ghana is politically polarized. It is a fact that opportunities that need selection ends up as political tool. People are recruited into government works on political lines. LEAP beneficiaries are mostly recruited on political lines. Any attempt to target the free SHS policy will be economic suicide. This is because deserving people will be ignored on political lines.

3. Bribery and corruption
There are scandals that people pay their way into their preferred senior high schools. Undoubtedly, people may bribe their way into enjoying the policy altogether.

Enhance the policy, do not target the free SHS policy

The free SHS policy needs to be enhanced instead of targeting it. The inclusion of the day students in the current format is causing financial loss to the state.

Students are not interested in attending day schools because of the benefits of boarding schools. It is advised students days students are offered breakfast just like their boarding colleagues.

Imagine less than five students enrolling for one program in some of the day schools. Teachers must be paid to teach them throughout their stay in school. This must be a financial loss occasioned though the policy

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4 thoughts on “Dear Nana, please do not target the free SHS policy

  1. The most Gagantuos Evil of Ghana Bribing and corruption the most unprecedented canker. If you’re perceived as beloging to party A YOU’RE denied opportunity to have to access anything which is your right to have, this not theWay the Democracies we are copying does it. Our nation Ghana is full of unnecessary evils especially Corruption which killing the progress of Ghana. The Most poluted is Ghana Police. If things in Ghana or this nation can inprove then police institution must inprove first apart from this everything is a Joke. Policing is what make the develop countries develop.

  2. For Heaven’s sake, the free SHS Policy must remain intact. For over 60 years a section of the population, to be precise, the Northern regions exclusively enjoyed free secondary education during the 16 odd times Ghana went to the IMF. Nobody spoke about reviewing that policy, even when schools were closed down for months for want of feeding grant. Why now? It is not fair to those who had hitherto not enjoyed free secondary education. There are problems but these are not unsurmountable. What sane person will kill his children because he has difficulty providing some of their needs. The term ‘poorly targeted’ is an ambiguity. Those who coined it must come and explain it in black and white. PLEASE DO NO KILL THE FREE SHS POLICY.

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