Let’s also consider quality in Free SHS policy-Sheikh Barry

Tema The Government should insist on the high quality of students as it endeavou rs to offer all Ghanaian children an opportunity to be educated through the free SHS policy.

Even though the free SHS policy would help the poor and vulnerable to continue their education, government should have a mechanism to check the maturity level of students that are produced by the system, says a Renowned Ghanaian Academician, Sheikh Labaran Salifu Barry.

Sheikh Barry told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview at Tema in a reaction to the education aspect of the 2020 budget statement as presented to Parliament by Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Finance Minister.

Sheikh Barry insisted that even though the desire was to get as many people as possible educated in Ghana, it was necessary to ensure that the quality of students produced was the purpose of the exercise, not just the numbers.

Sheikh Barry said over liberalization in any sector of national life could lead to collapse of the sector if not properly managed adding, Where there is expansion, there will be a threat because the production of quality results could be compromised.

He cited the expansion of tertiary education in Ghana as an example of how expansion brought in corruption in the sense that the private universities reduced standards by admitting unqualified applicants.

Sheikh Barry explained that expansion in every sector by Ghana’s Development Partners achieved excellent results and benefited those countries because the expansions were gradual and continues, And in that sense, we should have experimented the free SHS policy before expanding it to the whole nation.

From the reading of the budget, enrolment of the secondary level of education increased significantly by 43 per cent between 2016 and 2018.

At the end of the 2018/19 academic year, total beneficiaries for the two cohorts were 794,899 students.

This number is projected to reach 1,264,000 with the addition of the third cohort, and would be the highest number of students concurrently enrolled in the public secondary education system in Ghana.

Source: Ghana News Agency