Independent presidential candidate Dr. Sam Ankrah has declared that the ”wholesale implementation” of the free education policy in Ghana today is not economically prudent.
He opined that there is nowhere in the world where boarding school is free, and Ghana’s module of free education is not possible for an economy such as Ghana’s.
Speaking in an exclusive interview on Frontline on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, the aspirant said the best approach was for the government to use a ”meeds-tested” approach in implementing the policy and identify those who do not have the means to sponsor their education.
The boarding system, he stressed, is not economically sound, adding that we can invest heavily in community-based schools so our students will go to these community schools.
He said, ”I believe in free education. However, free education cannot be a wholesale solution, even for an economy like Ghana. It is not possible. It has to be means-tested. We need to know if those who have the means to pay can. Those who don’t have the means would be supported. There is nowhere in the world where you will go to a boarding school for free. So we need to create community day schools and high-quality schools in every community for community members to go to for free.”
He is also proposing the privatisation of the top A-list schools as well as the mission schools to return to their original mission.
”I am calling for the privatisation of the main government schools such as Opoku Ware, Prempeh College, and others. Give the mission schools back to their original owners and give them the right to enter the schools and run them properly. Education is so crucial to the development of this nation. If we don’t raise the standard of education in this country, our quest for development and advancement cannot be met. We need to concentrate on high-quality education.”
Dr. Ankrah further called for a total overhaul of the curriculum and a massive investment in infrastructure.
‘How can you give free education when all these things are not fully in place? The constitution guarantees free basic education, and are you giving free basic education? That’s a no!”
He added that giving free education in the middle of nowhere yields no returns.