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Gov’t Backs Out on FSHS Vacation Classes?

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Parents of students who fall under the Green Track of the Free Senior High School policy (FSHS) should not expect any form of vacation classes for their wards.

This is because recent statements by officials of the both the FSHS Secretariat and the Ghana Education Service (GES) suggest that, government will not organise vacation classes for students on holidays.

Parents with wards on the green track had high hopes that their children would be occupied during their two months’ vacation which began about a week ago, but the Public Relations Officer (PRO) for the policy, Jose Bertha Gyan-Kwakye, says “vacation is vacation.”

“The children cannot learn from books all year round. So, if the students are on vacation, then they are on vacation,” she said.

She suggested that children on vacation should be engaged in other productive ventures other than formal education.

Failed Promise

Submissions by FSHS and GES officials have prompted many to wonder whether or not government must be taken seriously when they make pledges to the people.

It would be recalled that in August this year, the Minister for Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, said amongst other things that the double track system was going to come with an ‘extra topping’―vacation classes.

He indicated that aside providing GH¢50 per head to every student for extra tuition, government will provide centres in the districts for students to engage with teachers for extra academic interventions.

He said vacation classes would be held in church halls, community centres and private schools, adding that government was going to place not less than four teachers in “every district or circuit” to conduct the classes. But the FSHS PRO said children cannot study all year round.

“Though free SHS is for government, the development and grooming of children are not solely on government. Parents also have a responsibility to ensure the proper development and grooming of their children,” she added.

Gov’t Not Struggling

Some parents had argued that government may be backing out on their ‘vacation class’ promise because they are already struggling to finance the policy.

But Madam Gyan-Kwakye says government is not having difficulties with funding adding that, priorities had been set right with the needed resources generously earmarked for the programme.

She was, however, quick to add that parents who intend to invest more in their children’s education could do so through the Parent Teacher Association (PTA).

“The government is not struggling to fund the programme because it has set its priorities right. Government wanted to do Free SHS and money was made available for it; that is the priority,” she said.

By: Grace Ablewor Sogbey/ ksogbey@gmail.com

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