Former Spokesperson for the Coalition of Concerned Teachers Association (CCTA), Norbert Gborgbortsi has stated that the government has silenced stakeholders, especially teachers and Headmasters from speaking about the teething challenges facing students and school authorities under the Free Senior High School Policy(Free SHS).
According to him, he will not be surprised if he’s summoned by his superiors after making these comments, but he’s not perturbed adding “Ghana is our country and we should do everything possible to ensure that it does not fail.”
His claim comes after the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Rt. Rev. Prof. Joseph Obiri Yeboah Mantey, has said the much-touted Free SHS policy is now problematic and needs a drastic approach from the government to remedy the situation.
He said headmasters are struggling to manage their schools owing to funding delays, but they are afraid of being penalised by the government if they complain.
“Ghanaians must be cautious of free things; parents who can afford to pay must pay,” he pointed out during the 70th-anniversary celebration of Abetifi Presbyterian College of Education (ABETICOE) in the Eastern Region of Ghana.
He however applauded the initiative saying if not for the immediate challenges it has been riddled with, it remains one of the best policies of the government.
Commenting further on the problems bedeviling the Free SHS programme on Kasapa 102.5FM/Agoo TV Tuesday, Norbert Gborgbortsi stated that students find themselves in a dire situation as conditions in the varous schools are terrible.
“The students sleeping place is not good, overcrowding everywhere. The food they eat is bad, and classroom situation is also not the best so why are the student in school,” he asked?
Norbert Gborgborsti also explained why he believes PTA in the Senior High Schools has been deactivated.
“Things are so terrible under this Free SHS programme such that now even visiting your child in school it’s like you’re visiting someone admitted to the hospital. Those at the hospital gate determine whether you should be allowed entry or not. So now, under Free SHS, there are rules and regulations preventing you from visiting your child in school. Because they know that when parents visit their children’s schools regularly they’ll discover the realities on the ground. That is why they’ve deactivated the PTAs. So you realize that school PTAs are no longer collecting materials like cement etc to build on the various campuses because by doing so parents will want to be checking on the extent of work at the project sites and take advantage to know the difficulties their children are going through under the Free SHS policy. What is happening on the ground is not easy at all for both students and authorities.”