Government says the impasse between senior high school heads and the Education Ministry over the start of academic work for freshers has taken on a political tinge.
Deputy Education Minister, Dr J.S. Annan, who suggested this, said the “fuss” over the issue has been brought on by a certain ignorance on the part of some of the school heads.
The Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS) is advocating for an extension of the reopening date for fresh students yet to be admitted into Senior High Schools because of inadequate accommodation facilities.
“The government has awarded contracts; there are some which are at roofing level, others at the lintel level, others are being painted, one or two have been handed over. But if you look at the generality and the totality of the schools involved then it’s something like a drop in [a bucket of water], the ocean may be too big,” Mr Samuel Ofori-Adjei, CHASS president, told Joy News this week.
While Mr Ofori-Adjei has stressed CHASS is not against GES in any way, Dr Annan believes the strong stance of the headmasters has some political underpinnings.
“A number of the CHASS headmasters themselves say they don’t understand why the fuss is all about; because every school is different. We have the well-endowed schools and we have less-endowed schools. So at a certain point then you have to start concluding that perhaps some of these fuss is falling within the political realm,” Dr Annan told Kwaku Sakyi Addo, host of Joy FM’s news analysis programme Newsfile.
According to the Deputy Education Minister, critics of the GES must also put to rest the debate over government’s restoration of the three-year SHS after the Kufuor administration added a year.
“…because it’s a fait accompli and it’s not about the issue of political commitment made in manifesto but it’s just an issue of relative common sense about the cost to the parents and the cost to the government and the fact that we need to increase efficiency and produce more qualified teachers and so on.”
“We have a situation where there is a crisis has been created, not of our making, and we’ve done everything possible to mobilise the funds, to mobilise the requisite technology, mobilise people to address it,” Dr Annan said of the said pressure expected to mount on the country’s universities in 2013 when both students enrolled in the 3-year and 4-year SHS would be seeking admission into tertiary institutions.
Mr Annan believes CHASS must avoid speaking to the press on the issue, hinting the GES and Education Ministry are very “open to suggestions on the ground to resolve problems that emerge as we go along.”