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Uhuru Adopt’s John Mahama’s approach as he Implements his Free secondary education in Kenya

All governments in Ghana since 1992 have committed themselves to advancing the cause of education by making specific provisions in our constitution to progressively make secondary education free. Article 25(1)b of the 1992 Constitution states that “Secondary Education in its different forms, including technical and vocational education, shall be made generally available and accessible to all by every appropriate means, and in particular, by the progressive introduction of free education”. The first step is to make secondary education available and accessible to all by every appropriate means. Introducing free secondary education without providing enough infrastructure is not good enough. This is the reason why past administrations focused on infrastructure improvement to avoid overcrowding in our schools and overly large classes. It is obvious that if these issues are not tackled adequately, quality will be compromised. The Mahama administration in fulfilment of its promise and in accordance with the directive of the 1992 constitution of making secondary education progressively free, released some Ghc 12.2 million to enable the education ministry pay for the first term of the 2015/16 academic year. As part of the administration’s progressively free policy, it began construction of 200 new secondary schools across the country. Before the President launched the progressively free secondary education, Ghana Education Service released a list of schools that will benefit from the implementation of the progressively free SHS

Volta – 36,859 out of 88 schools
Ashanti Region – 64, 430 from 102 schools
Western Region – 38, 751 in 56 Schools
Central Region – 27, 795 students in 54
schools
Greater Accra – 52,664 consisting of 46
schools
Northern – 17, 648 students out of 45
schools
Brong Ahafo – 38, 751 from56 schools.
Upper East – 1,395 students out of 28 schools
Upper West – 877 students from 23 schools
Eastern – 34,157 students out of 82 schools.

Free secondary education was introduced in Kenya in 2008 by the Kibaki administration. It covered provision of free tuition in public schools and was in a form of bursaries and targeted children from poor families in the slums, arid and semi arid areas. Girls living in poor households were also helped. The bursary fund was managed by constituency bursary management committees in consultation with the ministry of education through education boards. So before i proceed, facts available rubbish the propaganda being peddled around that Ghana’s free secondary education is being replicated on the continent of Africa.

The Uhuru Government has released Sh 29.5 billion of the Sh 37 billion it has earmarked its for FREE DAY SECONDARY EDUCATION.An annual fee for DAY SECONDARY SCHOOLS is Sh 22,244 per child. Under the fresh allocation each student has been allocated Sh11,122 to Sh 5,122 for tuition and Sh6,000 for operations. It also covers teaching and learning materials, repair and maintenance and improvement, local travels, administrative cost, electricity, water and conservancy, medical etc. The policy will also see every student receive six text books for core subjects every year. The policy does not cover feeding and other fees. The policy unlike what was introduced in Ghana by the current administration, also absorbed some fees charged in their primary schools. Each pupil will receive four text books of English, Kiswahili, sciebce and mathematics. The propagandists of the Akufo-Addo government should also take note that: the Uhuru administration adopted same approach the Mahama administration adopted. The administration disbursed Sh 6 billion for the improvement of 2,500 schools in preparation of the free secondary education. The fund was used in improving infrastructure and expanding the institutions to accommodate more students to curb the problems we witnessing here in Ghana. New schools, laboratories, classrooms and dormitories in boarding schools were built. These are the projects the Mahama administration focused its attention on to ensure proper implementation of the free secondary education system. The Mahama administration began with the construction of more schools, dormitories, provided text books, built laboratories, trained more teachers and offered them additional training, supported our girls with the provision of pads etc apart from abolition some of the fees in our schools. At the primary school level sometimes heads of the schools have to turn people away because of inadequate classrooms and teachers. Increasing cost of running public schools (primary/Jss) is still a challenge hence the decision by the previous administration to approach the free secondary education with extreme care and tact.

THE MAHAMA DREAM

His position is – “Education is life” and means to social mobility. For the full potential of education to be efficiently harnessed, the former President believes that it must be for all affordable or even free and assured Ghanaians of his government’s determination to make it freely free. He even extended his dream to the tertiary sector and was looking at Millennium Development Goals, and Sustainability Development Goals etc interventions to actualise that dream. But before we can achieve truly free secondary education without compromising quality, he believes that all outstanding barriers to its implementation must be removed.

What the Uhuru government did in preparation of implementation of its free secondary education (disbursement of Sh 6 billion for improvement of 2,500 schools and in improving infrastructure) was what the Mahama administration did with the construction of additional secondary schools , laboratories, dormitories etc.

What do you think?

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