Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, a Deputy Minister for Education, says he did not see the vision of former President John Dramani Mahama who said that he had a vision of a progressive Free SHS but did not want to pay for the progressive.
The deputy minister explained that despite the introduction of the progressive Free SHS under the Mahama administration, the amount of money given to the schools was not paid for by the former president.
Speaking on Good Evening Ghana on Tuesday, the deputy education minister explained that the former president needed to pay the schools because “he eliminated the day school fees and then didn’t pay the schools. We had to pay…Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had to find money to pay when we came to power.”
He continued: “The progressive was never paid since they promised…that is why when they talk about, we are going to give a discount on the fees for universities. The track record is that when you promise you don’t deliver.”
“A president who doesn’t have a vision will not use double-track…,” Dr Adutwum said.
The Bosomtwe MP noted that the Senior High School in Ghana is a demand and supply situation and even when the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Addo, announced that in the next academic year under his administration school will be free, some opposition members doubted it.
Explaining the essence of the double-track system, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum said: “Unfortunately some citizens thought it was not going to happen, so the first year, we had 365,000 students enrolling…then the following year everybody wanted to go; way beyond expectations…this became a great opportunity for us and was not a crisis moment because the parents have bought into the President’s vision. Everybody wants their child to go to a Senior High School…we had about 450,000 students enrolling.”
He quizzed: “Do you rather have the opportunity to educate 400,000 more students within a period of three years…or do you say, I’m going to abolish this and I don’t know what I am going to replace it with?”
Dr Adutwum added that when the Government of Ghana realized the number of students enrolling for the second year of Free SHS had increased, the government resorted to innovative practices just as happens across the world, which then led to the Double-Track system in the second year of the Free SHS.