There is an increase in enrolment in our Senior High Schools, and as you announced in Bawku during the Samanpiid, by 69%. However, is it sufficient to be content with only numbers? What of quality?
Shouldn’t you be worried about the quality as many parents are? Undoubtedly the numerous challenges our secondary schools face due to the poor implementation of the FSHS programme has negative implications for quality.
In fact, many believe the reason why your government has procured 400,000 sets of questions and answer booklets from WAEC for the first batch of beneficiaries of the FSHS, the cost of which we are yet to know, is because you have failed to provide the conducive context for effective teaching and learning in our Senior High Schools.
Why your government has refused to fund and distribute elective textbooks to SHS students but has funded the purchase of past questions and examiners reports raise a lot of questions.
No one is opposed to students passing their examinations with the help of past questions and answers. But, shouldn’t past questions and answers be complementary materials to textbooks, including elective textbooks?
Increase in enrolment is obvious Sir. What is not obvious is the quality of teaching and learning in our Senior High Schools, which by all accounts, is being negatively affected by the following:
1. Congestion, overcrowding and lack of adequate furniture;
2. Erratic, irregular and unpredictable academic calendar;
3. A double-track system that allows students to spend more time at home than in school;
4. Failure or refusal to provide free textbooks to students;
5. Supply of unwholesome food items to schools;
6. Lack of reprieve for senior management and non-teaching staff;
7. A culture of silence, where heads of institutions are transferred, demoted or sacked for daring to voice the challenges they face.
The author, Dr. Clement Apaak, is MP for Builsa South and Deputy Ranking Member on the Education Committee of Parliament.
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