Free SHS implementation depriving basic schools of adequate funds to procure textbooks – Eduwatch Research Fellow

A Research Fellow with the Africa Education Watch (Eduwatch) has said government’s attempt to keep its flagship Free Senior High School policy afloat is depriving basic schools of adequate resources, barely three years into the implementation of the new education curriculum.

Among other challenges facing basic education, Divine Kpe stated that there is lack of funding for the procurement of textbooks because government’s focus has been fixated on the Free SHS drive.

This follows information they gathered from an informant at the Education Ministry during a research Eduwatch conducted to assess the first three years of the Education Sector Medium-term Development Plan between 2018 and 2021.

“Schools resumed on Tuesday and so far teachers are going back into the classroom to again teach without the textbooks. So, funding has been the issue.

“We all know the attention is on the senior high schools, government is trying best to keep the Free Senior High School running, depriving the basic school of the necessary resources that are needed,” he claimed.

President of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) earlier revealed pupils from kindergarten to primary six are still without textbooks.

Dr Isaac Owusu noted that the situation, together with government’s refusal to pay capitation grants, has crippled basic education.

According to him, teachers and their heads are struggling to cope as the main reference document have been the resource packs.

“The new curriculum that was introduced in 2019 was ideally to come with its own textbooks that the teachers will use.

“It is not that GES or the Ministry of Education did a supply and there have been shortages, there hasn’t been any supply at all. So since 2019, from kindergarten to class six don’t have textbooks,” he said.

Reacting to this, Divine Kpe said the Education Ministry and the Ghana Education Service (GES) should update Ghanaians on measures being put in place to address the issues following the reopening of schools.

“Indeed, the issue is mainly about lack of fund to procure the textbooks, although we have had several promises about the textbooks being procured; we have so far missed all the timelines.

“The latest given was for March, 2022 but that has elapsed and we are now in the month of May and we have still not gotten any feedback from the Ministry of Education,” he added.


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