The leading opposition party, the NDC led by Mahama have promised free quality one track SHS if voted into power on December 7th.
This was revealed during a live programme on GH One Tv hosted by the General Secretary of the party, Sammy Gyemfi.
In his programme dubbed “Nokware Mmre” (Moment of Truth) he said the National Democratic Congress while in government invested in school infrastructure to ensure students had conducive learning facilities in the schools. He added that former President John Dramani Mahama, when voted into power, will continue his good works in the education sector and solve the double-track system and other challenges facing the implementation of the Free SHS.
The party’s flag bearer for the NDC in the 2020 general election, John Mahama has on countless occasions disclosed that party faithful and Ghanaians, in general, should disregard the lies and comments that he will cancel Free SHS when voted into power. According to him, he has no such intentions.
The NDC has maintained that their quest to abolish the double-track system will be implemented within one year of coming into power. This is what the NDC is calling Free Quality One Track SHS.
Education has gained centre stage in the battle for the Jubilee House, the seat of government as 7th December draws nearer.
The NPP and Nana Addo led government implemented the Free SHS Policy that ensured that parents and guardians do not pay for secondary education in Ghana. In addition, the government abolished the BECE cut off point for admission into Free SHS.
The huge number of students who gained access to secondary education led to the introduction of the Green and Yellow Tracks popularly called the double-track system.
This meant that the school facilities were being fully utilized and students who would have missed out in attaining secondary education are admitted.
But the policy has not been without challenges. The double-track led to a situation where student spend less time in school compared to the original single-track system.
Long vacations for students each time they vacate for their colleagues to also go to school compelled parents to pay for their wards to access private tuition whiles at home.
The current SHS 2 and SHS 1 students have two tracks each, and the reopening of school in January and subsequent admission of the 2020 basic school graduates may further worsen the plight of parents and students.
However, the government insists that the Free SHS has been successful, although it is saddled with challenges.
The results the first batch of students released by WAEC on November 13th 2020 have been another key issue the government is using to drive home the message to be retained by the citizens when Ghana goes to the polls on December 7th.
The results of brilliant students who excelled have flooded the internet for that matter. On December 7th, Ghanaians will have the chance to vote to elect a president and members of parliament for the next four years.
Teachers are also going to exercise their rights on election day. What issues are likely to inform the decision on December 7th Election?
There are over 400,000 teachers in the public sector at the Pre-Tertiary level and nearly 300,000 more working in private schools throughout the country.
For educators in Ghana, this year’s election will be an opportunity to score the Nana Addo led administration on its performance and contribution to education.
Teachers in public schools and those under training or undertaking their national service will be looking at issues such as the just paid professional allowance, teacher trainee allowances, Licensure examination, teachers undergoing national services after completion of school and governments commitment to paying full salaries to teachers in public from March 2020 to November whiles they have been home due to COVID-19. The above does not mean teachers are entirely satisfied with the government’s performance and how they have been treated. One thing teachers want to forget is the poor treatment given then during the new curriculum training.
Educators in the private schools will be counting their losses with regards to government decision to keep schools closed until January 2020, the absence of support for teachers during the Coronavirus lockdown till now. The decisions of government in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic has negatively impacted private school teachers since they have lost their jobs and source of income and without any stimulus package from the government. It has been nearly 9 months of pain to be unemployed and have no means of income to survive for private school teachers.
How will these issues translate into votes for the NPP led government and the major opposition party, the NDC?. As to whether the votes will be in favour of the NPP and the brainchild policy or NDC to make the free SHS a single track as they have promised, only time will tell. What are you voting for? Free SHS double-track or Free Quality One Track SHS?
In a related development, the Electoral Commission has released soft copies of the voters’ register. The final register for this year’s election. You can check your name, polling station, your number on the name reference list to avoid delay during the voting day.