Logo for the Free SHS policy was unveiled by President Akufo-Addo and Vice President Bawumia

The Executive Director of the Africa Education Watch, has urged government to fix the bureaucratic bottlenecks that cause delay in release of funds.

Speaking on Joy FMs Midday News Wednesday, May 26, Kofi Asare explained that delay in procurement of funds is responsible for government’s inability to provide school beds and infrastructure in the Senior High Schools.

“There are issues with the drawings or release of 1.5 billion dollar loan that the Ministry of Education secured to finance the development of these 820 projects aimed at ending the double track.”

He said, though he acknowledges government’s efforts of expanding infrastructure so as to end the double track system in the Senior High Schools, he wants government to see the projects to their successful completion.

“Projects that are supposed to have been completed by September last year are still uncompleted. Indeed, as at January, February this year, only 30 percent of the 820 projects being undertaken in the double-track schools to actually end double track had been completed. It means that contractors are far behind schedule. We have schools where for a particular dormitory project, about three contractors have come and gone in the matter of 2 years,” he said.

His comment comes at the back of parents expressing concerns over challenges relating to the implementation of free SHS policy on the Super Morning Show, Tuesday, May 25.

According to parents, due to the lapses in the rollout of the policy, paying fees is a better option than free SHS in its current state.

The Deputy Director-General (DDG) for Ghana Education Service (GES) responsible for Quality & Access, Dr. Kwabena Tandoh responding to concerns raised by the parents assured of GES and the government’s commitment to addressing the outstanding challenges confronting the free SHS program.

He said “regardless of the situation, people will still have concerns. Even in the more advanced societies, in the UK or Russia or the United States, we always hear these things, so it is not the norm.

We are sending intervention grant to the schools that are now supporting all students not a segment of the students. There have always been concerns, when those concerns are raised, whether it is raised in the court of public opinion through the media or it is raised through our schools, we respond.”

Touching on the issue of contact hours raised by the parents, Mr Tandon said the contact hours for students in SHS have been increased for students to have more learning hours.

“Because we want to make up for time lost, SHS 1s in schools now instead of 1134, for the first academic year, they will do 1350 contact hours. We are even increasing their contact hours. The SHS 2s are now doing 1400 contact hours that’s an additional 260 plus for 264 more contact hours per the academic year than what is even expected in the semester system.”