We are afraid to run our schools efectively - SHS Headteachers

By Kwabena Owusu-Ampratwum

Some heads of Senior High Schools say they are practically afraid to run the schools effectively under the free SHS policy.

They say it is now impossible to ask the students for any sort of levy, even with the approval of the Parent Teacher Association for fear of being reprimanded by the Ghana Education Service.

Speaking to PrimeNewsGhana on condition of anonymity, Two headteachers said government is yet to supply some materials such as technical drawing boards, survey materials and laboratory equipment.

"While we wait for the supply of these materials, teaching and learning cannot be put on hold, we cannot teach the students technical drawing without a board, so under the circumstances, what should I do," they lamented.

They said it would have been appropriate to ask the students to acquire some of these materials themselves, especially the inexpensive ones, such a drawing boards for their own benefit, but now the hands of the school authorities are tied, because any such request could lead to a report, and no headmaster wants to be accused of working against the policy.

Under the policy, government is supposed to supply school uniforms, but this has not been done in some of the schools, forcing the form one students to go to class with their house dresses.

"Some parents have approached us to allow them to them to buy the uniforms and other materials for their wards, but we have been reluctant to accept them because they will be others who will not want to buy. With such a situation some students will be uniformed while other will not, creating inconsistencies I cannot allow" a headmistress lamented rather frustratingly.

They headteachers acknowledged the free SHS policy has brought a lot of relief to parents and if implemented very well, could achieve its intended target of getting every child in the country education to at least the Second cycle level, significantly improving the literacy rate in the country.

However, they believe while the policy is being implemented and studied for its lapses, school authorities must be given some leeway to make up for the shortfalls that require immediate attention, in order not to jeopardise effective teaching and learning.

According to them, it will not be out of place for the Ghana Education Service to consider a scheme where in the short terms, approval is given to school heads to allow the PTA to purchase some essential items for the benefit of students.