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Decentralize the purchase of food, stationery et al under Free SHS – Dr. Clement Apaak

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Deputy Ranking Member on the Education Select Committee and MP for Builsa South in the Upper East Region, Dr. Clement Abass Apaak is entreating the government to consider decentralizing the purchase of foodstuffs, stationery and all other basic materials needed to enhance education at the Senior High School level.

He made these comments when he spoke on the Day Break Upper East Show today, Tuesday, June 7, 2022.

Dr. Apaak’s comments come on the back of an earlier revelation he made on his official Twitter handle.

“1st year SHS students will write their 1st-semester exams from 13th of June. Subject teachers have been told to set page/multiple-choice questions, no comprehension/essay questions due to lack of funds for stationery. It’s getting worse by the day, but will they admit the truth?” he wrote.

The lawmaker was convinced that this issue may have arisen because the government is cash strapped and because of the centralization of almost all purchases of the various senior high schools.

“The system has changed. Some of us have argued that the changes made with regard to the way the institutions were run, where the heads of the institutions and the school managers had leverage and they made decisions; whether it is in the area of stationery, the quantities needed; whether is in the area of food and the quantities needed, should be brought back.”

“We had argued that that power needs to go back to the heads of institutions. They have been centralized and that is where the problem is. If the central government, through the Free SHS Secretariat does not release funding to the schools, clearly, you know there is a challenge. Part of the challenges bedevilling the implementation of the policies is the delay in the release of funds,” he said.

As part of the Free SHS programme, heads of institutions have been limited to only the purchase of perishables. All other purchases are made on behalf of the school by government.

This Dr. Apaak believes does not help in the day-to-day running of the schools.

Meanwhile, Dr. Clement Abass Apaak, the Member of Parliament for the Builsa South Constituency and Deputy Ranking Member on the Education Select Committee has expressed grave concern about the quality of students produced under the NPP government’s flagship educational programme; Free Senior High School (Free SHS).

According to Dr. Apaak, while the students graduating from the Senior High Schools may have excellent grades on paper, they have no proper substance.

This means that when they further their education to the tertiary level, there is an extra burden on lecturers.

To this end, tertiary institutions could soon be forced to implement a policy that would compel university entrants to sit for a common entrance exam. This would determine whether or not, they would be allowed to study at a particular university.

Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana

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