The Former Chief of Defence Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces, Brigadier-General Joseph Nunoo-Mensah, has intimated that the Free Senior High School Programme was implemented for political purposes and not to improve the educational system of the country.
According to him, the policy was not planned with honesty because, Ghana’s economy is not capable of funding the programme sufficiently. However, the strong desire to gain power influenced the government to make promises without carefully considering the factors that may hinder the progress of the promises.
“I don’t think we planned it with honesty. There was a political purpose to use it to win votes. I am putting it very blunt. I am not going to pull any punches here. If I have to hit, I will hit. We did it to win votes not because we want to create a better system of education.”Brigadier-General Joseph Nunoo-Mensah
Speaking in an interview, Brigadier Nunoo-Mensah made reference to the British educational system where government intervened throughout his children’s education by bearing the cost.
He noted that, free education is a possible agenda, but it is highly dependent on the strength of the country’s economy.
“I was in Britain in the early eighties, my children went to Britain. At a point, government intervened not along the way, all the way. It is very possible that you can pay your way, you can pay for education with the economy you have but you couldn’t do it. But because of winning the biggest prize, political power, you promise anything, if you want power. So it is said in politics, if you have to sell your mother, sell her, if you get power, you go and take her back. There is nothing that you cannot do with power, except to turn a man into a woman and vice versa.”Brigadier-General Joseph Nunoo-Mensah
Comparing the previous politicians to the current ones, Brig. Nunoo-Mensah stated that the past politicians are different from the new ones because, they took decisions not for personal gain but for public interest.
“When Nkrumah and others were in power, they were human, they may have done things wrong but they did it not for gaining something out of it’’Brigadier-General Joseph Nunoo-Mensah
Therefore, the Former Chief of Defence Staff advised Ghanaian politicians to always come to power with a purpose of changing the society for the better and not with the intent of enriching themselves. He also urged them to bow out when their goal is achieved for others to take over.
FSHS policy performance
Earlier this month, the Ministry of Education (MOE) described the Free Senior High School (FSHS) policy as a game-changer.
According to the Ministry, the introduction of the policy in 2017 has helped thousands of students who would have stayed home because they could not meet the cutoff point of aggregate 30, the required grade of entry into SHS set by the Ghana Education Service (GES).
In response to assertions that the FSHS policy is a failure, FSHS policy was introduced to improve access to SHS for all Ghanaian students. The Ministry of explained that, “as a result of the opportunity offered, the number of Ghanaian students desiring to acquire education increased.”
Speaking on the benefits of the FSHS, the Education Ministry indicated that the introduction of the policy led to an increase in student enrollment. It revealed that 400,000 students more had gained admission to secondary education.
Furthermore, the Ministry of Education revealed that it had constructed over 962 facilities including dormitories, assembly halls, dining halls and classroom blocks across the country since the introduction of the policy, to help create the enabling environment for effective teaching and learning.
Also, according to the Education Ministry, the 2020 WASSCE results showed a wonderful improvement in the average record as compared to the previous year’s results.
“Out of the 465 A1’s recorded by WAEC; Ghana alone recorded 411 out of the figure indicating a huge success for the nation.”Ministry of Education
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