Coordinator of Post Graduates Programme of the Faculty of Education at the University for Development Studies (UDS), Dr. Ibrahim M. Gunu, has dismissed suggestions by some members of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), that the free Senior High School programme may collapse within five years, if a sustainable plan is not put in place.
According to him, the implementation of every new programme particularly in the education sector, has unique challenges that ultimately can be addressed.
Dr. Ibrahim M. Gunu, in a Citi News interview, explained his standpoint, saying, “I believe that the free SHS scheme will not collapse in five years because the reasons that the Minority and others have given have to do with issues of inadequate budgetary provisions.”
“I think this cannot lead to the collapse of the system in the sense that, the government can always go back to Parliament to request for additional funding for the programme.”
Dr. Ibrahim Gunu urged the minority caucus to depoliticize the free SHS programme, and rather join forces with government to succeed in its implementation.
“I want to suggest that the minority in collaboration with the majority should help the government to implement this programme successfully.”
“This should be a major source of concern for any politician because the voters will necessarily use it, and so it is important that they all come together and help government to implement this programme.”
He further lauded government’s call for voluntary contributions to support the free SHS programme saying, “They also talked about the voluntary educational fund. The government established the voluntary educational fund in order to find an additional source of funding for this programme, and some members of the minority group mentioned that the establishment of this fund is an indication that the programme will collapse.”
“I think that cannot be the case because it is not the primary source of funding for the programme. It is expected to be a supplementary funding for the programme, and so that cannot lead to the collapse of the programme.”
He commended government for not overburdening the citizenry through taxation to fund the programme.
“The government for instance, if it is challenged with issues of finance, can impose taxes on the citizenry, but the government is not doing that because the citizenry will be overburdened. For believers in education for growth, I think we must support the government on this note,” Dr. Gunu underscored.
Government has admitted that infrastructure deficit is a major challenge associated with the free SHS programme implementation, and has promised to fix the problem.