he Deputy Education Minister in charge of Pre-tertiary, Dr Osei Yaw Adutwum
Mr Mathias Tulasi, the Chief Executive Officer of Literacy Ambassadors Ghana (LAG), a non-governmental literacy organization, has lamented over the huge amount spent on printing new sets of ‘Pasco’ for SHS candidates and that the shambles bedeviling Free SHS will not be solved by ‘pasco’ for candidates.
Mr Mathias Tulasi has said so in his reaction to the statement presented to parliament by the education minister which indicated the ministry has spent GH 34.8 million to purchase 446,954 sets of ‘Pasco’ for 2021 WASSCE candidates under free SHS.
Below is his full statement:
Education should not be a partisan issue. Providing equitable and quality education for all students should be at the interest of all.
This is because it is education and enlightenment that lift a nation to the heights of progress and greatness.
It is however, sad the way we are handling Secondary education in the country under Free SHS.
A lot of shambles have been created but stakeholders of education are quiet and afraid to speak including headmasters etc. Culture of silence at play?
Students no longer have enough contact hours to complete their curriculum. Few days at school and longer days at home.
If we would all look at education from the point of view of the air we breathe, l think we would all do everything possible to ensure the quality of it at all times.
If the air is polluted, it will affect everyone irrespective of one’s political status or social standing. Those handling issues of education must have this at the back of their minds in order to ensure quality education at all times.
We would all recalled, last year government procured ‘pasco’ for the ‘Akufo Addo graduates’ and a lot of the candidates relied on it and refused learning anything else because they were made to understand the questions would come from there.
We all saw on national television and on social media the disappointment expressed by the candidates in which most of them even insulted President Akufo Addo in plain language. An act we were all not happy about.
Does it mean that the ministry of education learnt nothing from that episode? Or is it the case that they want the president to be insulted again or they want this batch of candidates to equally get disappointed as was the case in that of their seniors?
Last year, government spent huge sums of money to procure past questions for the SHS candidates and those past questions were not given to the candidates to take home. All the past questions are in the respective Senior High Schools. Why spent money to print new ones?
Are we going to spend millions of cedis each year to purchase past questions for the candidates?
The President, HE Nana Addo and Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum must be told that the current shambles bedeviling Free SHS education will not be solved with the purchase of past questions for candidates.
The students must have enough contact hours with their teachers.
It was shocking that those who thought about the idea to purchase past questions knew very well the ones they purchased last year are in the respective schools for subsequent use yet ordered for new ones to be printed.
Is it that we take delight in spending money anyhow but will later cry that the economy is hard?
Is it the case that we are now practicing selective priority?
Is the firm that printed the past questions a government publishing house?
As a country, are we interested in producing half-baked graduates?
We are all aware there are a lot of school children still learning under trees, some under leaky roofs and will have to close once the weather looks cloudy, capitation grants are in arrears, no teaching and learning materials especially textbooks on the new curriculum, workshop for JHS teachers on the new curriculum still pending. If all these are not engaging the attention of the government, then I don’t know the kind of future we want for this country and the future generations.
It is important to state that the education ministry should stop the selective priority approach and make judicious use of scarce resources in order to ensure quality education for all Ghanaian school children.