A Deputy Ranking Member on the Education Committee of Parliament, Dr. Clement Apaak, has asked President Akufo-Addo to apologise to former President John Dramani following the assessment by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) of the free senior school policy.
The educationist and lawmaker who represents Builsa South constituents stated that the IMF’s concerns are not new and that Mr. Mahama has already addressed them with proposed solutions.
The government, on the other hand, slammed and denigrated him for stating the obvious.
He noted that the IMF’s assessment indicated that the free helped increase enrollment but was poorly targeted.
According to him, the IMF also raised concerns over the need for the government to strengthen primary education, better teaching training and strong performance-based practices.
He admitted that, while the policy increased enrollment overall, the percentage increases were not “gargantuan.”
He said that these figures have also resulted in poor learning outcomes, and when outcomes are said to be poor, it has a lot of implications and means that the investments we are making are not yielding a commensurate return, and the issue of quality should be addressed.
He stressed that if we were getting the best outcomes, we would not have witnessed these poor learning outcomes the IMF referred to.
”And that is where John Dramani Mahama, I believe, is owed an unqualified apology by the Akufo-Addo and Bawumia-led reckless NPP government. We all agreed that the free SHS, as a concept, has been trusted on us by the constitution. We had argued that we started what we called progressively free, and we had decided to go through that method because we felt there was the need to take care of some important house housekeeping issues before we opened it up. That was why we adopted the gradual approach.”
Dr. Apaak went on to posit that the NPP had made a case that they wanted to use the wholesale approach, and that was why they got the nod, although when they took over, the policy did not cover second and third-year students, and we saw the consequences.
He said listening to the government and its spokespersons, they have admitted that it was time to review the free SHS policy.
”This is significant because we have long argued that the policy is good, but the implementation has been poor. We had highlighted the challenges and the importance of convening a national stakeholders forum, and Mr. Mahama has never missed an opportunity to urge President Akufo-Addo to convene a national forum aimed at reviewing the policy and making it better.”
He stated that, despite Mahama’s and other prominent academics, churches, and civil society groups’ positive suggestions, the government and its agencies believed otherwise.
But now that the IMF has made these recommendations and the government has acknowledged the need for a review, they owe Mahama an apology.