The results of the first batch of beneficiaries of the Free Senior High School policy released by the West Africa Examinations Council (WAEC) have, again, exposed the opposition National Democratic Congress over its overall vision. Particularly, it has exposed the Mahama administration’s poor handling of the education sector.
Indeed, Mahama’s era was not the first time the NDC had bungled in its handling of the sector. The last it was that bad was when we decided as a nation to force kids into half-baked carpenters and masons as well as tailors and seamstresses, without tools, training and teachers for that programme.
But that was yesterday. Today, however, the record of NDC intervention in education had been essentially to reduce the number of years at the senior high level from four to three, without adequate research and consultations. That was also at a time exhausting the academic syllabus itself was a huge challenge to schools, even in endowed communities, districts and regions.
As we would expect, the results had been deteriorating, until when the government decided with the Ghana Education Service and other stakeholders to put Ghana back on the map by ensuring that the public schools also delivered as effectively enough as the endowed private schools.
According to official reports, not only was the overall 2020 WASSCE results impressive, but that performance in Mathematics and English Language was the best in recent times.
Indeed, 2020 is the only year in the past six years that more than 50 per cent of the candidates who sat the examination obtained A1-C6 in all core subjects.
Further analysis of the results shows that performances in Mathematics and English Language were the highest, recording 65.71 and 57.34 per cent, respectively. Social Studies and Integrated Science also recorded 64.31 and 52.53 per cent respectively.
The data also show that about 60 per cent of the 342,500 candidates scored between A1 and C6 in their best six subjects, including English and Mathematics, which qualify them for tertiary education.
With the reformed scholarships programme rolled out, there is every prospect that the sky would be the limit for every serious boy and girl ready to be part of the unfolding success story of the transformation in the education sector.
It is worth mentioning that the quality of senior high education we are witnessing today did not come as a fluke of nature, but out of well-thought-out plans and interventions by a visionary and compassionate leader and government that know what they are about.
The impactful interventions included the supply of free core textbooks to every student, free uniforms, meals for both day and boarding students, training for Science and Mathematics tutors, core subject teacher’s training, provision of Chief Examiner’s reports to teachers, academic interventions for all students and support for low-performing schools, among others.
As usual, the naysayers would attempt to put a damper on the truth. But the important thing is that the beneficiaries are adults who can speak for themselves and be natural ambassadors of the magic of Akufo-Addo’s Free SHS programme.
Remarkably, it is the same story in all the sectors, namely health, agriculture, manufacturing, banking and insurance as well as the vibrant informal economy.
Evidently, through a coordinated programme of development based on sound and pragmatic policies, the NPP has shown that it truly has a vision and mission it is rolling out to develop Ghana and improve lives and livelihoods. And, in that, it has no competitor.