Former UG VC wants Free SHS reviewed
Ivan Addae Mensah wants the government to retool less endowed schools
Six Senior High Schools have proven dominant in producing students who make the cut to attend the University of Ghana’s Medical School.
According to a former Vice-Chancellor of UG, Professor Ivan Addae-Mensah, these schools have contributed to 50% of the over 1,270 students who have been trained as medical doctors over a period of seven years.
In an interview with Accra-based Joy News on the gains of the schools of origin on 60 years of medical education, Professor Ivan Addae-Mensah lamented the number of SHSs that have produced medical doctors in the last decade.
“Let us take the University of Ghana Medical School. From 2013 to 2020, the 1,272 students, the first five schools that are; Wesley Girls School, Presec (Legon), Achimota, Mfantsipim, Holy Child and Prempeh bracket in the fifth position.
“These five schools alone have produced 50% of the medical students and 18 schools have produced more than 75% of the students in our medical school,” he added.
He had earlier stated that out of the about 720 SHSs in the country, only 110 of them over an eight-year period i.e. 2012 – 2020, had their students making it into Medical School – UG of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.
“For the period of 2012 to 2020, we have admitted 1,272 to the University of Ghana Medical School. We have admitted similar numbers to the KNUST School of Medical Sciences.
“Of those number of students admitted, they come from just about 110 schools, which means there are 610 schools in this country who have never sent a student to our two medical schools for the past eight years,” Professor Addae-Mensah disclosed
With 18 schools producing 75% of medical students, it leaves 25% to the remaining 92 SHSs in the 110 brackets.
He attributed the state of affairs to the lack of requisite facilities in schools and an atmosphere that does not engender the teaching and learning of science and mathematics.
The ex-UG VC wants the government to retool schools and to prioritize less endowed schools to give them a chance at contributing positively in the area of medicine and the sciences in general.
Professor Ivan Addae-Mensah is concerned about the current system of SHS education which is the main feeder to the tertiary institutions. He is of the view that the current system produces more quantity with less quality.
The professor has advocated for a review of the Free SHS tasking government and other stakeholders to relook at the structure and to work towards making it more sustainable.