When will the gov't build the 350 SHS promised? - Kojo asks

In lead up to the 2016 general elections, then Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo (now President) promised to build 350 Senior High Schools (SHS) in his first 18 months when Ghanaians vote for him.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

The schools, he promised to build are to address the infrastructure deficit in the country's educational sector.

The construction of 200 community day SHS was a major component of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) campaign message prior to the 2012 polls.

But the NPP has criticised the government for failing to deliver on that promise.

The NPP insisted the John Mahama-led administration has built just four.

According to the Communications Director of the NPP, Nana Akomea, his party has a grand strategy to make this promise a reality.

He accused the Mahama-led administration of copying his party's idea.

"This whole idea of John Mahama saying I will build 200 schools were in reaction to Nana Addo’s plan to build 350-day schools as part of the free SHS agenda. So John Mahama also brought this thing that I am also going to build schools, it wasn’t part of their initial plan," he said.

Each school building by the NPP is expected to cost GH¢3.5 million.

Although he was unable to tell the time frame in which these schools will be built, he said within the first four years of the Akufo-Addo administration, a large number of the schools would have been built.

In December 2018, the General Secretary of the NPP, John Boadu said the NPP government is still committed to constructing 350 SHS.

He rebutted claims that the party has reneged on its promise after winning power stating that though the timeline may have elapsed it is still committed to building the schools.

He stated that "The kind of investments we are injecting in education is not the E-Blocks. We will complete all the uncompleted ones very fast. We will construct the 350 new school blocks. What matters is for us to construct these schools. Sometimes it is not just about doing it but you do it properly. Through Getfund we have taken cash for this purpose. We are just not interested in constructing buildings."

Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia also promised that the NPP plans to build 350 SHS.

Addressing supporters of the NPP in Kperisi in the Wa Central constituency of the Upper West region, Bawumia said adequate infrastructure will be put in place to address the challenge.

"Under Nana Akufo-Addo we are going to build 350 new senior secondary schools in Ghana, and so we will create the access and we will improve the quality. The argument that you cannot do it is the same argument they used, then we were bringing in the National Health Insurance Scheme...we will bring about the free secondary school education for all our children," he added.

It's been over 4 years since NPP took the reigns of government and not even a single SHS has been built and Ghanaians have forgotten that monumental infrastructural projects will ensure increased access to quality education while introducing more interventions for the benefit of teachers.

Any country that is interested in the future, will pay attention to the quality development of her children.

Although the mass introduction of the Free SHS policy was not a bad idea, its implementation was not well thought through and fell short of achieving the desired goals.

Ghana is putting in a lot of effort to ensure that education receives the needed attention, but the sector of the country continues to suffer from the lack of infrastructure, inadequate teaching, and learning materials, and the lack of teachers at the various levels of education in the country.

Infrastructure remains the greatest challenge that the government's Free SHS policy has faced since its introduction in 2017 and this has been worsened by the failure of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration to pay contractors.

Therefore, Kojo asks the government, when will the construction of the 350 SHS start?

Pulse Editor's Opinion is the opinion of an editor of Pulse. It does not represent the opinion of the organization Pulse.


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