Former President, John Mahama, says it is not too late for government to review the Free Senior High School policy in order to safeguard quality.
Mr Mahama sees this as crucial in the face of what he describes as incessant challenges bedeviling the implementation.
The policy has been reeling under occasional pressure with the Conference of Assisted Secondary schools either threatening to shutdown down the schools over lack of food or inadequate funds to run the programme.
According to the former President, the policy can be improved with the introduction of a bursary system that targets deprived families while bringing on board private senior high schools that have some infrastructure to complement the policy.
“There are available information on a large number of the existing private Senior High Schools with enough facilities that could have been utilized to avert the immediate infrastructure …that the public system has brought about following the implementation of the free Senior High School,” he said at Koforidua in the Eastern Region.
“Engaging private schools would have saved parents and students from the psychological torture, the unpleasant experience and the unplanned cost they have encountered with the introduction of the double track system,” he assured.
Speaking at the 8th Biennial National Delegates’ Conference of the Ghana National Association of Private Schools (GNAPS), he stated that his administration has better measures that can enhance the Senior High School Policy.
He further stated that the introduction of the policy has compelled parents to withdraw their wards from school.
“When the free Senior High School System was introduced, and it was restricted to only students in the public school. All parents moved their children from the private Secondary school to public school to take part in the double track system.”
The former President reiterated his calls for a national stakeholder conference to review the implementation of the policy to enhance the standards of secondary education in Ghana.
“Any opportunity to encourage this government to consider a National Stakeholder Conference to review the implementation of the policy. There are so many educational professionals and experts, including many of you in this room, who will be able and willing to bring the wealth of experience and knowledge and put it at the disposal of government.
He believes that though the initiative is laudable “it is our duty to make it affordable for both government and all stakeholders, in a manner that includes but does not alienate private sector institutions, he added.”
He mentioned that other professionals are in support of the review of the Free Senior High School Policy.
“And I can mention three former Vice Chancellors of our public universities; Professor Naana Jane Opoku Agyeman, Professor Ivan Addae -Mensah of the University of Ghana and Ernest Ayeetey, former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana.”