Albert Futukpor/ Issahaku Walkiyatu, GNA
Tamale, June 12, GNA - The Baobab Market, a platform of civil society organizations in the Northern Region, has called on the government to make available the policy document of the Free Senior High School (FSHS) so as to clear speculations on the policy requirements and provisions.
The Baobab Market said the policy was also needed to guide all stakeholders, including school authorities, parents, students, teachers, and the citizenry in their expectations and responsibilities towards the policy.
Mr Abukari Ayuba, Leading Member of Baobab Market and Head of Programmes, Research and Advocacy at Northern Network for Education Development, made the call at a press conference organized by the Baobab Market in Tamale.
The press statement was signed by Alhaji Osman Abdel-Rahman, Convener of Baobab Market and Executive Director of Ghana Developing Communities Association, Mr Sumani Bapio Mohammed Awal, Secretary of Baobab Market and Executive Director of Centre for Active Learning and Integrated Development, and Mr Ayuba.
Mr Ayuba called on government to make adequate provision for students, who would repeat a class at the Senior High School (SHS) as well as those in the technical, vocational education and training institutions.
He called on government “to take appropriate steps at improving the conditions and teaching and learning environment of deprived Senior High Schools to match the standards of the so-called first class or Category ‘A’ schools”.
He urged government to consider other sources of sustainable funding for the FSHS rather than the proposed Voluntary Education Fund and the oil revenue, which could become very unpredictable.
He said there is the need for government to address existing inequities by targeting poor and marginalised children including girls, children with special needs and those of geographically disadvantaged locations, and recruit qualified teachers for special needs education to enhance inclusion and improved learning outcomes.
Mr Ayuba commended government for the on-going review of curriculum and teaching standards calling on it to restructure schools’ teaching and learning content and methods so as to develop students’ critical thinking skills, entrepreneurial acumen and confidence to compete in the workplace.
He called on government to make advanced payment to Senior High Schools each year saying “at least 50 per cent should be paid before reopening and the difference transferred when all admissions have been completed.”
He commended government for implementing the FSHS allowing all children, who hitherto could not access education due to the cost implications, to do so but cautioned that the FSHS should not lead to admission of more day students.