Professor Aryeetey outlines 5 reasons why the quality of Ghana’s public school system is declining

Former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Professor Ernest Aryeetey

Free SHS will degrade the quality of education – Prof Ernest Aryeetey

The governance system in public schools does not provide enough incentives to schools, Professor Ernest Aryeetey

Government encourages public-private partnerships to improve infrastructure in public schools, Professor Ernest Aryeetey

A former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Professor Ernest Aryeetey, has outlined five reasons for the decline in the quality of Ghana’s public school system.

According to him, the public school system in Ghana has been affected over the years even before the introduction of the free SHS policy, but he believes the policy has made the situation worse.

At a forum organized by policy think tank, the Center for Social Justice (CSJ), Professor Aryeetey said the Free SHS policy, which is the government’s flagship public education programme, needs of a crucial examination to live up to its objective.

Presenting the findings of the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA), in its capacity as Secretary General, Prof. Aryeetey revealed that the poor performance of Ghana’s public school system is generally attributed to the following:

1. Inadequate investment in schools reflected in poor infrastructure, facilities and equipment;

2. Inadequate teacher preparation, often attributed to low motivation and low morale;

3. Insufficient time spent in school;

4. Schools mainly focus on passing students in exams, so no general education or critical thinking;

5. The public school governance system provides little incentive for schools to want to excel.

Commenting on the problem of public school governance, he said that currently school boards have no say in the management of their schools.

“School boards do not run the school. They do not make any major decisions. All major decisions are made by the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service,” he said.

The forum, which is the 10th series of CSJ Leadership Dialogues, was themed “Ghana’s Education System: Current and Future Aspirations.” To deal with the problem of inadequate investment, which he said was one of the main setbacks, Professor Aryeetey recommended that the government adopt a public-private partnership (PPP).

According to him, the government alone cannot maintain the current arrangement to build the infrastructure of thousands of public schools across the country.

Participants in the virtual forum included a free SHS graduate, parents and teachers.

They all gave a critical assessment of the Free SHS system and called on the government to consider the many suggestions to review the policy.

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