Govt has no excuse not to review free SHS – Apaak

Story: News Desk 

Member of Parliament  (MP)for Builsa South and Deputy Ranking Member on the Education Committee, Dr. Clement Apaak, has criticized the government for opposing suggestions to review the free SHS policy.

The Minister of Education, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, in an interview on Citi FM, stated that the free SHS needed  improvements and not a review.

In response to this, Dr. Apaak, in a statement, described the government’s decision and its appointees as “purely political and not supported by literature on policy implementation.”

The former president, John Dramani Mahama, reiterated his commitment to reviewing the free SHS policy in the next National Democratic Congress government.

Dr. Apaak believes the government is averse to reviewing the policy because the idea was initially espoused by Mr. Mahama.

“The position the Minister and other government officials have taken is purely political. It is not supported by literature on policy implementation or best practices.”

Read Dr Clement Apaak’s statement

RE: Free SHS Does Not Need A Review But Improvements – Adutwum

Improve what exactly? The challenges exposed by seven years of implementing the FSHS policy are numerous and complex. To deal with these challenges exhaustively requires a review. What is this warped approach of improving aspects of a challenged policy? We are dealing with the future of our nation and ought to adopt a comprehensive approach, not ‘tot-tot’.

It’s a review, in other words, a formal assessment that will give us pointers on what needs to be improved. All stakeholders but the Minister for Education and other government appointees have called for a review. Even external partners such as the IMF have called for a review of the policy.

In any case, is it not standard practice to review programmes and policies from time to time? The position the Minister and other government officials have taken is purely political. It’s not supported by literature on policy implementation or best practices.

The only reason why the Minister and NPP government appointees are averse to the legitimate and justified call for a review of the policy is because our Flagbearer, John Dramani Mahama, was the first to make the call.

Well, the coming NDC government, under the leadership of John Dramani Mahama, will do the needful as called for by stakeholders, that is, review the policy, with the intent to improve it holistically. As announced by the NDC Flagbearer, a national stakeholders forum will be called to assess the policy and to make recommendations for improvements. This is undoubtedly the way to go.

By the way, the Minister for Education owes Ghanaians an apology for defining review as meaning cancel. As an education Minister, he ought to have known better. Review doesn’t mean cancel.

Dr. Clement Apaak
MP, Builsa South and Deputy Ranking Member, Education Committee

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