Minority leader in Parliament and MP for Tamale South, Haruna Iddrisu has observed that the NPP government’s flagship Free SHS policy will do more harm than good to the country’s human resource in the next 10 years.
Although, the NDC legislator admits that the policy is a great and a laudable social intervention initiative, its implementation will have a long lasting negative impact on the country if it is not addressed.
Speaking in Accra-based TV3, the minority leader enumerated the many serious implications of the Free SHS policy on the economy of the country.
According to the MP, the policy is partly contributing to the current deteriorating public debt stock of the country and also robbing the economy the needed investment in infrastructure and industrialization.
He further argues that the debate that the policy will enhance the human resource capacity of the country is not entirely accurate. Haruna Iddrisu says about 50% of the beneficiaries of Free SHS are not able to climb the academic ladder to the tertiary level, where they will be properly equipped with skills and knowledge that will make them relevant in the world of work, hence are stucked there.
The lack of a cut off point in the policy, the legislator argues brings forth the question of the quality of the human resources the policy will produce in the next 10 years. The wholesale implementation without any checks will mean people will pass through the mill but will not be properly fit the world of work.
Based on these arguments the MP indicated that the harm the policy will cause the country in terms of the quality of the human resources produced through the policy will be best felt after 10 years down the lane.
“From 2017 till yesterday, a significant part of ABFA is spent on Free Senior High School; A noble objective, great social intervention. Numbers have increased from three hundred, four hundred thousand to 1 million students. But are you investing in human capital or you are investing in numeracy and literacy because 50% of those who get the Free Senior High School don’t climb up to the tertiary ladder. So they remain at that level. I won’t describe that category of the students as human quality. What are they going to compete with in the world?,” he noted.
“Two, what is the justification that I, Haruna Iddrisu, MP Tamale South, I earn some reasonable income, you say that I should not pay fees and my watchman too should not pay fees. You have enriched me better than the watchman because I will save that money. A necessary need test was compelling,” he further argued.
He continued that, “where in the world is it that everybody who gets a grade must pass? Where is the cut off point? From JHS, you just did not admit any person into the Senior High School so the fact that its free does not mean that you are just keeping your Metro Mass transport door opened for any person to sit in. We did not aggregate. It does not respect quality standards within a competitive educational system. 10 years down the line we will appreciate what harm we are doing to the development of Ghana’s human capital under this popular policy.”