Popular radio broadcaster and media personality, Kwabena Marfo, of Peace FM, has criticized the government’s flagship program, Free Senior High School (SHS), over what he perceives as a decline in the quality of education.
Marfo contends that the Free SHS is prioritizing quantity over quality, leading to a compromise of academic standards as well as poor meals served in the schools.
Speaking on an interactive session of Neat FM’s Morning show on November 28, 2023, he alleged that the meals served to students are of very poor quality and fail to meet basic hygienic standards. The broadcaster went as far as comparing the food to the ones served in prisons, asserting that even the prisoners would avoid such meals.
“The food that the Free SHS children are eating, is not good. This has nothing to do with NPP and NDC.
“The kind of food that the children are eating in the secondary schools is very bad…even prisons do not eat such food. Sometimes when you see the kind of soup they give to the children, you wonder if they are being punished for going to school” he said.
He argued that the initiative, while successful in increasing enrollment, has failed to maintain the academic standards that Ghana once prided itself in.
Marfo pointed out that Ghanaian SHS students used to compete with other West African countries in the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), and even earned top positions.
However, he claimed that the implementation of the Free SHS policy has resulted in a loss of this academic distinction.
“Then why don’t they allow the parents to give food to their children? When the parents attempt such things, they will tell you it is not allowed. Aside from the poor feeding, the free Senior High School project has no quality, the free SHS is just churning out quantity but no quality. That’s why most people are calling for a review. It has been a failure…initially when we used to write WASSCE among the West African countries, Ghana used to top, which is no more the case,” he added.
The broadcaster’s remarks come in the wake of recent allegations by the Ranking member on the Education Committee of Parliament, Peter Nortsu-Kotoe claiming that the government has supplied schools with food infested with maggots.