A former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Professor Ivan Addae-Mensah says the quality of the country’s public education system, particularly, in the second cycle is gradually waning.

Speaking on JoyNews’ AM Show, the academician said the situation is attributed to the government’s flagship programme, Free Senior High School.

He insisted that the policy has not yielded the desired impact since its introduction by the ruling government.

While recognising that the Free SHS policy has increased the number of students, Prof Addae-Mensah observed that the quality of education is being sacrificed.

“I must be frank, when it comes to its (Free SHS) effect on the quality of education, I won’t give it anything more than four, probably less. If anything at all, it has lowered the standard of education.

“It has increased numbers, there is no doubt about that, but an increase in numbers does not mean an increase in quality. Of course, if you give everybody the chance to have a brush with some form of education higher than what they would have ordinarily have been, it is a plus. I wouldn’t say that is wrong. But when you produce people who after going through school for 10 years, can’t even spell their own names or read an English sentence correctly, then I wouldn’t say quality has improved,” he said on Monday.

With the many Ghanaians lamenting the current state of the country’s economy, some people have called for the review of Free SHS.

An economist and the Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission, Professor Stephen Adei expressed the same view on the Free SHS policy.

In an interview on JoyNews’ Upfront, he explained that despite the numerous advantages of the Senior High School policy, the already worsened economy is being stretched by the policy because the government has to allocate about GH₵7.5billion every year to the policy.

According to him, the government must exempt some so-called best Senior High Schools in the country from the policy.

Also, the Akim Swedru MP, Kennedy Nyarko Osei, proposed that the government suspends its flagship Free SHS policy as well as four other social intervention programmes.

President Akufo-Addo, on the other hand, believes otherwise.

According to him, the WASSCE results of the second batch of students under the Free SHS policy, released by WAEC have given further credence that the policy is a success.