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11.11.2019 Feature Article

Should The State Stop Providing Free Senior High Boarding School Education - And Leave What Is An Expensive Privilege To Fee-Paying Private-Sector Players?

Should The State Stop Providing Free Senior High Boarding School Education - And Leave What Is An Expensive Privilege To Fee-Paying Private-Sector Players?

Earlier today, a very nice photograph of three smartly-dressed and obviously well-heeled younger-generation-old-boys of Mfantsipim Senior High School (which was taken across the road from a new library building named after the late Kofi Annan - who served two terms as Secretary-General of the United Nations Organisation, from January 1997 to December 2006 - and was also an old boy of Mfantsipim Senior High School), was posted on my Facebook wall.

For me, that photograph illustrates perfectly, how middle-class Ghana's addiction to old-boy-old-girl-cronyism could eventually destroy the free senior high school initiative, when the global fossil fuel industry suddenly collapses - as is bound to happen pretty soon: and no more significant amounts can be expected from oil revenues to fund the free senior high school initiative.

We all know that it simply does not make any sense, financially, for the Ghanaian nation-state to continue to maintain free state-funded boarding second-cycle schools in Ghana. Yet, because of egregious-elite-cronyism, we have rather chosen a let-us-bury-our-heads-in-sand strategy, in confronting this crucial issue, which has everything to do with the future of our potentially great nation.

Attending a boarding school is not a societal right for any young person in Ghana. No. Never. Full stop. On the contrary, by right, it ought to be an expensive privilege for the well-off people in our country, who can afford it, to pay for it for their offspring. Simple.

For that reason, surely, we must start a conversation about the pros and cons of allowing Ghanaian society to give the opportunity of providing second-cycle boarding senior high school education, to players in the private sector? Will that not enable them to contribute to the nation-building task, too, by providing the many super-wealthy Ghanaian middle-class families that want their own children as well as their over-pampered-Wofasi-wards, to enjoy the expensive privilege of experiencing boarding school life in the Republic of Ghana? Haaba.

As a sensible people, who must learn to cut their cloth according to their collective size, the infernal question we must all ponder over is: To save very-hard-to-find-taxpayer-cash, as an aspirational African people, should we not rather convert all state-funded second-cycle boarding schools into world-class day second-cycle schools - if we want to continue with the vital free-senior-high-school-initiative? Hmmmm, Oman Ghana eyeasem ooooo - asem kesie ebeba debi ankasa. Yooooo. Hmmmm...

Kofi Thompson
Kofi Thompson, © 2019

The author has 468 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: KofiThompson

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