Discourses involving the Free Senior High School (Free SHS) system which has become the centre of campaign towards the December 2020 elections are becoming more interesting with some teachers heavily involved in hatchet job.
The said teachers have been engaged by politicians who are opposed to the Free SHS to fabricate stories about the government’s flagship programme.
Latest of such fabrications is the claim that teachers are being intimidated for pointing out flaws in the Free SHS.
It is turning out that some teachers have been engaged purposely to lie about the progress of the current status of the programme that has seen lots of students entering SHS.
The Free SHS Secretariat, the Ghana Education Service (GES), as well as the Ministry of Education, have been engaging teachers and heads of schools on flaws in the programme and to fashion out ways of dealing with it.
As a matter of fact, there have been constant interactions with heads of schools on how best the Free SHS will be improved.
Various teacher unions have been contributing in shaping the Free SHS from time to time with their critiques.
The government in order to make the system absolutely free, ordered all public SHSs not to collect Parent-Teachers’ Association dues from parents.
That order has ruffled feathers with the heads of schools having huge problem with the government.
There have been several attempts to get the GES to allow schools to charge PTA dues, but that has not been successful because the government is of the position that no student should be denied education because the parents could not afford to pay PTA dues.
The Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS) some few days ago raised issues bordering on the ban placed on PTA dues and called on the government to lift the ban.
However, the Minister of Education, Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh, while on working tour with President Nana Akufo-Addo, last week to the Ashanti Region, made it emphatically clear that the ban on collection of PTA dues was still in force.
In the estimation of the teachers doing the hatchet job, the fact that Free SHS is in place, the GES code of conduct for teachers and heads of schools should be thrown away for them to behave in the manner they like.