Mr Martin Otu Ofei, National Democratic Congress (NDC) parliamentary candidate for New Juaben South constituency, says more investment is needed in teaching and learning to boost education.
He said the free SHS policy was investing heavily in infrastructures such as boarding facilities and feeding at the expense of providing teaching and learning materials, including textbooks.
The parliamentary candidate, who is a lecturer at the Koforidua Technical University (KTU), noted that boarding was not a curriculum but an arrangement which should not take the place of the state’s core duty of providing the necessary materials for teaching and learning to thrive.
Speaking at a debate organized by the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) in Koforidua, he explained that it was because of that understanding that the NDC, under Former President Mahama, constructed many Day Senior High Schools (SHSs) to improve accessibility and quality of education.
He said, “education is not about eating and sleeping and that is why Former President Mahama started construction of Day SHS in remote communities to give access and as the basis for the progressively free SHS policy.”
Mr Otu-Ofei said the free SHS would be more beneficial if it were day shools and investments channelled into teaching and learning, especially in the area of Information Communication Technology (ICT).
He said the NDC under the leadership of President Mahama would improve education by making it accessible and called on the electorate not to be swayed by the free SHS and vote massively for the NDC which would adopt different models to make free education quality and accessible.
The NDC candidate pledged to provide laptops to all teachers in the constituency when given the nod, adding that “in these times of technology every teacher must own a laptop to advance the cause of education and that is what I stand for.”
The NPP candidate, Mr Mike Okyere Barfi and the GUM candidate Ms Petra Penianah failed to show up at the debate, which was well attended by a cross-section of the public in the municipality.
Earlier, Mr Francis Cobbah, the New Juaben South Director of the NCCE, explained that the debate was to create a common platform for the candidates contesting the seat to deepen the understanding of the electorates, civic rights and responsibilities in the upcoming elections.
He urged the party supporters to conduct their campaign activities in a manner that would not inflame passion to ensure peace before, during and after the December 7, elections.