Saturday, September 8, 2018

Free-SHS and the urgency of youth training in Ghana

Free-SHS and the urgency of youth training in Ghana

The victory for the NPP in 2016 was important for many reasons. The free-SHS policy clearly shows that this victory was a timely positive change. But for this free-SHS policy, the number of youth dying in Libya and the mediterranean sea would have soared. What would have been the fate of these 170,000 young people who have now been provided with SHS education? We have had an educational system that ignored 40% of the youth intentionally. The NDC government of the 2009 to 2016 was inept in its approach to many issues of national importance. They only played games with important educational policies and merely made a lot of noise about the little they did after so much delay.

Now that many of the key issues affecting the free SHS policy have been solved, it is time to look further forward and do more. I think we can go a step further and develop a system for continuing education for the SHS level. Where those who missed SHS and those who did not pass can get back on track and pass some courses. And make use of weekend schooling and distance learning to gain degree level training. We cannot ignore providing them a route back into education after ignoring them to drop out. We have a situation where hundreds and thousands of these young people who dropped out of school are still in their youth, and they can be provided with education. Most of them can pay for themselves and so what we need to do is to device a new system to help them.

A flexible system that does not overload the students with too many courses but one that allows them to pick the number they are capable of passing. And repeating this over a number of years until they have passed all the subjects to qualify for their desired tertiary courses. The demographic and advanced skill dividend the nation stands to gain will be staggering. We need a positive attitude and a tenacious work ethic to make this happen. Education provides citizens with the liberty to succeed in life and that is crucial for national development.