No congestion in schools - Minister takes on Free SHS critics

No congestion in schools - Minister takes on Free SHS critics
Source: Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | Austin Brakopowers | M: Austin.powers@myjoyonline.com
Date: 30-11-2017 Time: 01:11:50:pm
Education Minister Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh

Education Minister Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh has challenged political critics to name secondary schools that are congested because of the Free senior high school (SHS) education policy.

He said there is “no school” that the Free SHS Secretariat placed more students than the heads “admitted they can contain.”

At a news conference in Accra Thursday, Dr Prempeh said there is a record at the Secretariat detailing the number of first-year students sent to the various schools.

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“If a head tells Free SHS Secretariat that ‘we can only admit 533’ and it places 520 students, [but only] 517 enrolled, how then do we say that Free SHS has caused congestion in the school?” he asked.

There have been reports of congestions at most secondary schools, days after the government rolled out the Free SHS education policy in September.

Related Article: Classrooms congested due to free SHS

Pictures purportedly taken from schools, showed some students sleeping in makeshift structures.

Political critics have blamed the situation on the Free SHS policy, which they claimed was poorly conceptualized and executed.

But the Education Minister said there is no school that was given more first-year students than the heads had requested.

Although he admitted some schools are facing logistical challenges, Dr Prempeh said the Education Ministry is dealing with that.

Commenting on the feeding situation in the various schools, the Minister said the government has given the necessary funds for students to be properly fed.

“If anybody goes to any school and finds out that the first years are eating differently from the continuing students then that head should not be heading that school,” he said.

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