Apparently on Joy this morning, some callers/texters claimed that the first cohort of Free SHS graduates did not really excel at the WASSCE exam but were given the grades just to make government look good. Interesting!
But since WASSCE is an international exam taken in Nigeria, Gambia and Sierra Leone, Liberia as well, I wonder how that could have happened. Why would any of the countries agree to raise Ghana’s flag high and lower their own flags?
WAEC is domiciled in Nigeria, with an office in Ghana. If cheating for students was truly possible, one would expect them to cheat for Nigerian students. One won’t expect Nigerians to be in uproar decrying their educational system after the news broke that 411 of the 465 students who made 8 straight As were from Ghana...a whopping 88%?
And then to add insult to injury, the best three students came from Ghana. Are we spurring our naturally-gifted children on with such negativity regarding their talents? Did they top the regional exam because WAEC wanted to please the government?
Kwabotwe Einstein- Cecil Tetteh Kumah of Mfantsipim, WASSCE’s overall best student was admitted by MIT and Columbia. With regard to Columbia, he gained admission before he even wrote the WASSCE exam. Did MIT and Columbia admit him to please the government?
Third overall best candidate and Spelling Bee champion who charmed her way into our hearts, Ms Afua Manukure Ansah, was admitted by another Ivy League school - Cornell University. Was this to please the government too?
These Americans seem to be pleasing the government a lot!
The fact remains that Free SHS has truly changed the landscape of secondary education in Ghana. Imagine going to school and being supplied with all you need as a student - From uniforms through to textbooks in all core subjects on a 1:1 basis. This policy covers traditional secondary schools as well as agriculture and TVET schools. In addition, Elective Textbooks are generously supplied to ALL school libraries for students to access freely.
There are many Ghanaians who went through secondary school without ever holding a set text in their hands. Of course, free textbooks in core subjects for EACH student and easily accessible Elective Textbooks should and will make a difference!
Thomas Amoani aka Adeiso Adam Smith, the young man who scored 8 straight As from Adeiso intimated how studying on his own using his textbooks made a difference.
I think it is ok that Free SHS graduates do well. Why? Because they are the future of our country. Children who are given an opportunity to excel today are the ones who will embark on great exploits tomorrow to make Ghana great and strong.
I also think it’s ok not to like the NPP or like President Akufo-Addo. However, it is imperative that we do not in the name of politics slam a policy whose first set of results show what a game-changer it can be. That is not only super-untidy it is downright unpatriotic.
After all, once upon a time in this same Ghana, prophets of doom deemed the free SHS policy IMPOSSIBLE. Today, by the Grace of God, it has lived to see the light of day and it’s first cohort has made us proud.
Free SHS may not be a perfect policy. But it is a life-changing one. And it behoves on us all to do our bit to push government to streamline any parts that don’t seem to be functioning as well as they should be.
And then, let us all remember that there are certain matters that transcend the realm of politics. After all, the 2nd verse of our National Anthem reminds us to work together always for the common good:
Hail to thy name, O Ghana,
To thee we make our solemn vow:
Steadfast to build together
A nation strong in Unity;
With our gifts of mind and strength of arm,
Whether night or day, in mist or storm,
In every need what'er the call may be,
To serve thee, Ghana, now and evermore
Source: Abyna-Madame Adjei
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