The Caucus for Democratic Governance, (CDG-GH) is calling on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo to carefully think through his policies before implementation.
According to CDG-Gh the predictions by a lecture that public university will do “double track” intake in 2020 must be taken serious.
It said a total of 45,000 SHS students will be seeking admission into public universities during 2020/2021 admission session.
The call was contained in a press release signed by the Chief Convener, Dr E.K. Hayford in Accra.
Below is unedited version of the press release
NANA ADDO MUST CAREFULLY THINK THROUGH HIS POLICIES BEFORE IMPLEMENTATION
Lectures predict double track in public Universities in 2020.
45,000 SHS students will storm public universities for admission
In 2017 after the swearing in of Nana Addo, he very quickly announced the implementation of the fee free SHS. The euphoria that accompanied the policy announcement and implementation was an expression of joy.
Soon after the announcement, the Caucus for Democratic Governance, (CDG-GH) warned the NPP Government, that a major policy such as Free SHS should be carefully thought through. We suggested that parameters such as finance, logistics, infrastructure, the incremental jumps in students numbers , feeding of students, increases in number of teaching staff among others should be carefully computed and projected for thorough discussion with inputs from stakeholders. This kind suggestion was simply ignored.
Indeed many countries including Kenya required not less than five years in thinking through their free SHS policy, preparing the students and parents and getting the needed parameters in place. The Akufo Addo Government (as he himself said) was badly in a hurry and had no time for careful simulations. The result was insufficient funds for the project, unpaid kitchen staff, poor food; inadequate dinning halls, dormitories, classrooms and toilets. Many students suffered from meningitis and died in Kumasi and in the North.
In 2020 it is estimated that about 45,000 SHS students will be seeking enrollment in the public Universities alone. University of Ghana had problems with accommodation last September; and I am sure the other public Universities must have had similar problems. The capacities in terms of accommodation, lecture halls and human resource are limited and cannot be unduly over stretched. Are we waiting for the episode of the FSHS to happen in our Universities? Already the financial allocations of the public Universities have been reduced and internally generated funds are being used to subsidize. The infrastructural facilities and logistics in these public Universities are barely adequate. To enable the public Universities to deal with such explosive numbers, would require careful planning more finances, infrastructure and logistics. Student numbers that would be increasing in multiples, as a result of factors like population growth, and birth rate increases, cannot be handled on ad hoc basis.
CDG-GH is of the view, that the causal relationship must be between proper planning and quality education. If we are to avoid chaos and silly innovations like green and yellow groups that lead to students getting pregnant and parents paying for needless extra classes fees for their wards; then we need to plan. In all these the missing quantum will be QUALITY EDUCATION.
Chief Convener CDG-GH
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