The determination of the government to go ahead with the implementation of the free senior high school (SHS) policy has ignited a lot of debate in the country.
While some, mostly sympathisers of the ruling party, are in favour of the initiative, those on the opposition side are not entirely in support, for obvious reasons.
There are also experts who have come up with varied positions on the policy which, to the government, is intended to ensure that no person is left out of second-cycle education because of the lack of funds.
Much as the Daily Graphic finds the debate interesting and thought provoking, it believes that the idea of free SHS is well intended and deserves the support of all and sundry.
In other jurisdictions, education has been the main pillar of development. Education, particularly at the higher level, provides the beneficiary with the necessary skills to contribute to nation building and take care of himself or herself.
Education gives knowledge and enlightenment. The knowledge one can gain from education plays a pivotal role in one’s future life and helps those who get it understand their environment better.
Advancement in technology requires that we offer opportunity to all children of school age to acquire more skills. Just a few years ago, we did not know what Facebook, Twitter and Instagram were.
Today, we can’t do without them. And not just that; the Mars Mission, the digitalisation of newspapers and magazines, everything has been able to come into existence only due to high technology.
If one is educated, one can understand such innovations completely and use them to one’s advantage and enhance one’s personality.
It is based on these benefits that the Daily Graphic supports the idea of free SHS education in the country and, therefore, urges the government to go ahead with its plan.
However, we expect the government to give a listening ear to those against the policy and in particular their reasons, so that they can be incorporated into policy reviews to make the policy beneficial to all.
We also support the view that the country need not be rich to implement such a policy, which has a positive ripple effect on its development and the lives of beneficiaries.
The Education Minister indicated at a news conference last Thursday that the government was prepared to go ahead with the implementation of the policy at the beginning of the new academic year and it is our expectation that the plan will be followed to ensure its success.
The Daily Graphic is aware that the beginning of the implementation phase will encounter some challenges, but that should not be a hindrance to the process because, as the saying goes, it has to get worse sometimes before it gets better.
What is required at this stage is full support for the policy, but we must be ready to offer suggestions, no matter how critical, for us to attain the desired results.