Free SHS Wahala – ASEPA Identifies Loopholes
The government pro-poor education policy has been ridicule with corruption and mismanagement.
This is so when Alliance For Social Equity And Public Accountability (ASEPA) undertook a nationwide survey in respect to the challenges facing the Free Senior High School program.
ASEPA during its survey has identified three major challenges confronting FSHS program.
These challenges have the tendencies of collapsing program in the near future.
At a news conference to address these challenges, the Executive Director of ASEPA, Mr. Mensah Thompson called on government to take immediate steps to address the situation.
According to him, some head of schools are milking the state through the programme by filling the vacancy without the knowledge of the authority.
These head of schools turned to fill the gab when students withdrawn from the programme or changed their schools in their second or third year.
According ASEPA boss, these heads of secondary schools admit new students and the money goes into their pocket while the state continue to fund the old number of students recorded during admission.
Mr. Mesah Thompson reveals further that this activities are mostly found in the Greater Accra, Eastern and Bono Regions.
Another challenges ASEPA has also identified as to do with lack of cut – off point that automatically gives admission to every Junior High School student onto the programme.
To this effect, he proposed that at least aggregate 30 should be the maximum requirement for admission into the FSHS programme. While the failed candidates could be enrolled on a special TVET programme.
“This is a scholarship program given to the brilliant but poor, and every scholarship has cut – off point for the number of beneficiaries it has to fund. So if you are not brilliant you can still enjoy the programme through specialized skill training”, he explained.
“…..because there is no cut off point, all the student are enrolled onto the programme and the quantity becomes order of the day instead of quality”, he asserted.
ASEPA Boss suggested that “those admitted and failed in their first year, their parents or guardians be made to pay the rest of the fees until their wards picks up and return onto the programme”.
He urged the government to engage the services of private school as a way to decongest the already choked public schools.
He said government could partner the private schools by allowing them to admit some of these students to reduce the numbers into the fewer public schools that are already congested.
This could curtail the collapse of the private schools which are also contributing to job creation in the teaching sector, Mensah Thompson advised.
Mensah Thompson charged the government to investigate the aforementioned loopholes his outfit had identified.
In a related issue, he commended the Hon. Minister of Education, Mr. Adu Twum for some efforts been put in place to institute a biometric data system to check some of the illegality on the FSHS programme.
Mr. Thompson revealed how government was paying huge sums of money to ghost students and urged the Ministry to take further steps to address the situation that could lead to the collapse of the FSHS programme.