Rev. John Ntim Fordjour

Deputy Education Minister, Rev John Ntim Fordjour has justified governmernt’s decision to procure past questions for Senior High School students.

Speaking on the Super Morning Show, Friday, he stated that buying past questions has been the practice in other jurisdictions since students started writing exams.

“Anytime students sit for SAT, the LSAT, International Bachelorette, Cambridge exam, the institutions make available questions on their websites and parents print them out so that in the revision period, their wards can have access to that.”

He notes that this time government has made the process flexible and accessible for all students at the SHS level including those whose parents cannot afford to purchase the book due to financial constraints.

His comment follows the procurement of past questions for final year SHS students in 2019.

The government has been accused of inflating the prices of the textbooks but in a reaction, Rev. Fordjour challenged the claim.

He insisted that the books were procured in 2019 at Gh₵71.25 (per unit cost) contrary to the Gh₵59.00 cost stated by the Minority in Parliament. That notwithstanding there has been a “reasonable” increase of 9.4% (due to factors such as inflation) which in turn has increased the cost of the book to Gh₵78.00.

“There’s no way you can go anywhere on the market to get this book at a cost less than Gh₵200 but we have put together all four core subjects in addition to the Chief Examiners report, in a 457 paged document at a cost of Gh₵71.25 per student,” he said.

He further clarified that a total of 361,765 books were procured for Senior High School students in 2019, in contrast with an initial 536,000 figure presented in Parliament as the total number of books procured. He explained that the initial figure was an error which is being rectified.

Again, the Deputy Education Minister said the total cost for the procurement was Gh₵ 25.77million.