President John Dramani Mahama has stated that even if he had extra resources, his immediate focus would remain on providing quality rather than free education.

According to the president, although the constitution mandates that education be made free, it is crucial to ensure quality first.

Education has been the focal point of this year?s campaigns with the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) promising free senior high school (SHS) education if elected into office while Mahama?s National Democratic Congress (NDC) promises improve quality first and work on making education free down the line.

The president?s most recent remarks come after the release of a tape allegedly from the 2008 campaign in which Mahama, then a vice presidential candidate, promised that the NDC would make SHS free for students of community day schools.

Speaking on the Sunrise program on TV3 Wednesday, President Mahama said, ?I do think that our constitution provides for it [free education] and if we go by the constitutional provisions, we should be fine. It says that as resources become available, secondary and tertiary education should be made generally available and progressively free and so what it means is we must work towards it.?

However, he said, if at this point in Ghana?s development he had extra money to invest in education, he would ?put it into trying to improve the quality. If you take our basic schools for instance, they are free but what is the quality of the product we are bringing out of the basic schools??

He explained that currently, ?we have schools of six classes that have two teachers. One teacher teaches class one, he jumps to class three and teaches, jumps to six and teaches. We need to train more teachers,? and provide more facilities including classrooms, dormitories and science laboratories.

?If I had extra money, I will invest it in improving quality. Somebody believes that if he has extra money he will invest it in making it free, he has his views I have my views. I think that we must improve quality and we must make it progressively free,? he added.

Source Joy News Ghana

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