Free SHS: Everyone Must Have A Skin In The Game

Free Senior High School (SHS) in Ghana Free Senior High School (SHS) in Ghana

Free Senior High School (SHS) since its inception in 2017, has and is still the topical issue that dominate the political landscape.

The free SHS, which was in line with constitutional provision, was introduced in the realization that education is the bedrock of every human endeavor. And if the nation must develop, no child must be left behind in terms of access to education.

Indeed, if the country is to expect transformation in the political, social, economic and scientific spheres in Ghana, access to quality education at all levels is needed.

All well-meaning Ghanaians support the policy, since in their view education is the best leveler. The policy has gone full circle, because the first batch of students, who enrolled in 2017, completed last year.

The call by many, which unfortunately has been received with mixed reactions to review the policy, is the right call and the government must stop playing politics and listen to wise counsel.

It needs to be stated, however, that this newspaper is unwaveringly committed to the free SHS, we believe that, if Ghana is to develop and match up the giants of the world, there is the need to bridge the gap between the educated and uneducated.

As a newspaper, we observe with regret that a lot of lip-service is being paid to this most important sector of the nation's socio-economic life.

It is obvious, in our opinion, that the burden of funding the education from the basic to the secondary, is becoming too heavy for the government alone to carry.

The economy has been dwindling, with government revenue shrinking by the day. There cannot be an increase in the investment in education until the economy grows. Today, expenditure on education is seriously competing with expenditure on all other sectors.

It is instructive to note that without adequate funding, the nation's education sector will continue to suffer and the quality will continue to go down.

A visit to schools in most of the rural communities would leave one in tears as the teaching and learning environment is not conducive. The buildings are in bad shape and most of them lack teaching materials.

We are of the view that the current mode of funding the free SHS needs to be overhauled. Parents must be allowed to pay something, no matter how small it is.

We also suggest that the government should encourage old students to lend a helping hand to support their alma mater that formed them.