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19.08.2019 Feature Article

Should We Limit The Free Senior High School Initiative To Only State-Funded Day Secondary Schools?

Should We Limit The Free Senior High School Initiative To Only State-Funded  Day Secondary Schools?
LISTEN AUG 19, 2019

Should we not limit the free senior high school initiative to only state-funded day secondary schools - and trasform all today's state-funded senior boarding high schools into day schools? That is the conversation we are failing to have as a people - about the feasibility of the Ghanaian nation-state continuing to fund boarding schools, at the second-cycle level. The plain truth is that it does not make sense, financially, to continue with such a policy. As presently structured, it is not a sustainable policy, financially. Full stop.

Hopefully, some well-respected civil society organisations in Ghana, will help kick-start the conversation - which we are refusing to have - about the state continuing to fund boarding second-cycle educational institutions, instead of transforming them into world-class day schools, so that well-funded free senior high schools will be able to produce well-educated and well-rounded students, regardless of their family backgrounds and financial circumstances.

As a nation with limited resources, surely, we must let the private-sector provide boarding second-cycle educational institutions, for those families that can afford to pay for them, instead of burdening society with having to pay for what really is a privilege? Haaba.

Furthermore, why are we not limiting this initiative to only those parents and extended families that pay their fair share of taxes - by opening digital accounts at the Bank of Ghana, for all those seeking to enter taxpayer-funded senior day high schools: Who give copies of their parents' (and other adults who act in in-loco-parentis roles for them's) national ID cards, and tax identification numbers?

Apart from that guaranteeing that only Ghanaian citizens will have access to free high school education in this country, it will also mean that the government can pay students' day secondary school fees directly to the schools they attend - all of which will no longer owe sundry suppliers: because students' fees are paid upfront, directly into the schools' own digital accounts with the Bank of Ghana. Hmmmm, Oman Ghana eyeasem o - asem kesie ebeba debi ankasa. We must have this conversation asap. Full stop.

Kofi Thompson
Kofi Thompson, © 2019

The author has 481 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: KofiThompson

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