The free Senior High School policy has been described as a destiny changing tool of young people as well development of the country.
This is as a result of the policy allowing many of age going young people to get free access to secondary school irrespective of one’s background, religion or tribe.
Therefore, changing millions of young people livrs and giving them hope for their future.
Speaking at its weekly media engagement on Monday, 12th October,2020 to outline the party’s policies and achievement as the country heads to elections in December, the Director of Communications who is also a Member of Parliament (MP) for Adentan Constituency in the Greater Accra Region, Yaw buabeng Asamoah described the NPP’s flagship Free SHS programme as “destiny changing” because it is the “greatest and the most far-reaching intervention of the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo administration.”
Touching on the double track system under the Free SHS policy, Director of Communications of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Mr. Yaw Buabeng Asamoah pointed out that, the main opposition party, National Democratic Congress is throwing dust into the eyes of Ghanaians by promising to abolish the ‘Double Track’ system in less than a year if it comes to power.
To him, the NDC is only deceiving Ghanaians to win votes in the upcoming Presidential and Parliamentary Elections on 7th December, 2020.
This is in response to Mahama statement at a durbar of chiefs and farmers at Fawohoyeden in the Asunafo North district of the Ahafo Region last week where he promised that within one year in office, he will eliminate the ‘Double Track’ system introduced by the government to ensure the smooth operation of the Free SHS Programme.
Mr. Yaw Buabeng Asamoah emphasized that, “any promises by the clueless NDC leadership to abolish Double Track in seven months is unrealistic, shameless and desperate’.
Adding that, “It is obvious that the NDC does not understand the Double Track system, and have no real commitment to Free SHS”.
Hence They NDC “still cannot answer the question their pipedreams about education reform pose’s, ‘whose child stays at home’, whilst they fiddle around pretending to cancel double track?”
According to him, the Free SHS through the ‘Double Track’ system has increased enrolment at second cycle institutions, that, government is poised to invest more into education.
“Today, our SHS population stands around 1.2 million learners, up from 800,000 at the start of the 2016/17 academic year.”.
Describing this as a massive jump. and that, the nation should be proud of NPP’s mutual commitment to the success of getting so many children into senior high school who would otherwise be wallowing in despair at home, not because they do not qualify to enter SHS, but simply because through no fault of theirs, their families are too poor to see them through senior high school.”
Available data between 2013 and 2016 he indicated shows that, on the average, 100,000 children, every year, passed the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) but could not take up their places in SHS, because they could not afford the fees, even though they had the qualifications.
This represented about 35% of the total number of children who had been placed.
whiles of those who took up their places, 22% dropped out, again due to financial reasons.
“Free SHS has therefore come as a major boost to parents, students and the nation. The important pillars of the Free SHS programme are Access, Quality and Relevance”, he stressed.
To cater for increase in enrolment in the second year of the free Senior High School (FSHS) due to the surge of candidates who had been home due to lack of funds, and who sought to benefit from the programme, the Double Track System was introduced in 2018 as an innovative intervention to make room for all successful candidates, with a clear timeline of 5-7 years to phase it out as more infrastructure was built in the 400 or so schools that went on double track, out of the total of about 721 SHS in this country.
For the smooth running of this policy, Mr. Asamoah said, over the last three years, more than 1,000 structures, including dormitories, classroom blocks and laboratories are being delivered in SHSs across the country.
He used the ocassion to urged Ghanaians to cast their votes for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) come December 7, 2020 for the continuation of the Free Senior High School policy than aboloshing it by the National Democratic Congress (NDC)
Source: www.thenewindependentonline.com/ Ishmael Barfi