Ghanaians began the week with admission of new entrants into our secondary schools. This, Ghanaians were informed, that secondary school education is free. You see the happiness in the hearts of many Ghanaians, especially parents.
Let me quickly congratulate the Government of Ghana for a very good job in respect of this very positive and inspiring policy. It will be prudent, at this juncture, to celebrate Ghanaian leaders over the past years, especially the Fourth Republic leaders in their quest in ensuring accessible, quality and free education in Ghana.
Article 25 of the Ghanaian constitution clearly states that education should be free. It further stated in clause(1) (b) that secondary education in its different forms, including technical and vocational education, shall be made generally available and accessible to all by every appropriate means, and in particular, by the progressive introduction of free education. This, I believe, will be appropriate for us as a country to show much appreciation to the constitution drafters for a powerful suggestion which today, thousands of children are benefiting.
Undoubtedly, free secondary school education is here. Most of us are aware the kind of trauma people went through before completing high school. My mum had to pay about six hundred Ghana cedis at Assin Manso Senior High school and later seven hundred Ghana cedis at Oda Senior High School since I decided not to attend my first school. I saw the sufferings in her eyes. It wasn't easy. I was sacked most times from school just to go home for my fees. This was normal with me even right from my basic school days. Later I realized this is bad and unhealthy for academic successes.
Parents and students wouldn't go through such again. But let us not forget that challenges may come, and the fact that one speaks against those challenges doesn't mean he "hates" it. It is for the good of mother Ghana and so let us embrace it and work on it.
The problems we face today in respect of this particular policy saddens my heart. A lady was placed at Ghana National College, Cape Coast. She went and she was told by the school authorities that, there's no place for her to sleep since their boarding facilities are full up. She had aggregate eleven. Must we disadvantage such a talent?
This particular policy does not cover students who completed last year and beyond. You should ask yourself why a student who completed JHS last year and has passed successfully would stay home. It should tell you "home no good" but such a student does not get the opportunity to enjoy this free package. Must we disadvantage such talents?
Unfortunately, some couldn't hit the pass mark and so were not placed. Some, for one or two reasons, may not get the opportunity to go to secondary. Such people might have completed last year. Such people might have been denied admission due to the school's inability to cater for such child.
Ladies and gentlemen, these are talents and human resources. Must we waste them?
May God/Allah guide as a country and lead us.
God bless our land and make it stronger.
Asomdwee nka wo
Source: Ekow Paintsil Djan/ National Deputy General Secretary, Teacher Trainee Association of Ghana (TTAG)