Its become a norm that, the first line of action to every issue raised on the free SHS is PR.
Immediately people started talking on Joy, the Minister himself, D-G and his team have occupied the media to do PR…moving from station to station, when some of these issues are completely avoidable in the first instance.
While PR is good, it does not solve congestion in schools, an unstable academic calendar or delayed release of funds for running schools.
The fact is, only 30% of the SHS expansion projects were completed by February 2021, the reason i am yet to fathom why His Excellency announced an end to Double Track in January of 2021.
In the PR, did you hear an explanation for the delayed completion of some 500 out of over 800 projects which were scheduled to be handed over for use last September?
Did you hear about the challenges in drawing funds from the $1.5 billion loan MoE secured to fund these projects two and half years ago?
Were you told about non-performing ‘contractors’ and actions taken against them, inclusing possible fines?
Did you hear anything about the opportunity cost of using an expensive emergency procurement approach to contract, only for projects to over-delay and defeat the very essence of emergency procurement?
Were you told why this year’s Free SHS budget was reduced by GHC 500 million and how that affects its management?
Were you told the reasons for the regular delays in release of funds to basic and secod cycle schools, and what has been done (is being done) to fix that perineal issue by way of instituting an innovative financing mechanism where funds for running basic and second cycle schools arrive before the begining of the academic year? This especially is the legacy issue that when fixed, we would be really fixing the system!
The media must probe these issues from Minister and his PR team , get real committments so we can press on, follow up for policy action and systemic reform.