I have read with utter shock and dismay the shameful description of Free SHS policy as a plague by my senior brother Franklin Cudjoe of Imani Ghana. His assertion was further embarrassing when he linked the WASSCE 2018 candidates' poor performance in English and Maths to the Free SHS policy. This is not only weird but scandalous considering the status of Imani Ghana as an esteemed think tank .
For instance in 2016, there was widespread outrage and disappointment with the performance of candidates enrolled for the WASSCE in Ghana with more emphasis on the Core English and Maths. Is Franklin Cudjoe attributing that to the Free SHS policy which was not in existence at that time?
When Candidates of WASSCE perform poorly the reasons are multifaceted which include but not limited low quality tuition, accessibility to learning materials such as books, stationery, computers required for teaching and learning, therefore this cannot be blamed on the Free SHS policy.
Franklin Cudjoe has deliberately ignored the trend of examination results and performance in the core subjects. Candidates who sat for the WASSCE exams in 2013 had only 19.15percent Pass in the core subjects. In 2014 it increased to 28.11 percent. In 2015 according to WAEC 25.29% passed in Mathematics, 23.63% passed in Integrated Science and 50.29% passed in English Language.
The only areas that recorded a bit improvement were Social Studies and Integrated Science, which moved from 52.25% in 2016 to 73.27% in 2017 and 43.66% in 2016 to 50.52% in 2017 respectively. Franklin Cudjoe and his Imani Ghana cannot turn a blind eye to these hard facts. We have seen that all his publications are against Free SHS which gives credence to the fact that he's embarking on propaganda against the Government and Ministry of Education.
I re-echo what Kofi Atta Anan once said that Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family. Therefore if there is any social policy program that has been implemented by any government since Independence that needs commendation it is Free SHS policy. It is worth reiterating that the Free SHS policy has dramatically improved access to secondary education in all parts of the country.
Unlike in the past when data from Ghana Statistical Service shows that only 15 percent of all Ghanaians who are 15 years or older can attain secondary education or higher, the Free SHS policy has dramatically improved access to education in all parts of the country. These statistics were not only shameful, but they were also an obstacle to sustainable and all-encompassing development.
This is one policy I would urge President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo and his able Minister of Education Honorable Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh to remain resolute regardless the hard criticism from naysayers such as Franklin Cudjoe and see it through the successful implementation of the policy, because they will be remembered for it by generations yet to come.
First Vice Chairman
A Member of NPP Communication Team
Source: Edmund Kyei Writes
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