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Tribal, Religious and/or Political considerations Threaten Sustainable Educational Policy Implementation – Prof. George K.T. Oduro

A Professor of Educational Leadership and former Pro Vice Chancellor  of the University of Cape Coast, Prof. George Kwaku Toku Oduro, has challenged Government and other stakeholders to eschew partisan politics in educational policy making and implementation. 

According to him, “in ensuring that future educational policies are collectively owned by Ghanaians irrespective of political, tribal or religious orientation, it is important that questions around _affordability_ , _feasibility_ and _sustainability_ are placed at the centre of  policy discourses right from the initiation phase”, he indicated.

In a speech he delivered at the maiden Annual Education Lecture Series of the University Of Education, Winneba’s Joseph Anamuah-Mensah Conference Centre, on 2nd August, 2023, Prof Oduro emphasized that achieving holistic educational policies requires consideration of questions such as: first, “is the policy affordable in-terms of its sociocultural, private, political, financial cost?”   “What is or would be the opportunity cost of the intended policy to stakeholders? Second, Is the policy feasible or workable in-terms of requisite resources: human, material etc for implementation within the context of access, quality and equity?”

Third, “is the policy sustainable in-terms of the political will to commit moral and financial support to ensure continuity beyond the life-span of the initiator?

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He lamented that educational policy makers tend to look at educational policy issues through the lens of party interest rather than national interest. This, he said, undermines sustainability of policies. He cautioned against Presidents, Sector Ministers, District Chief Executives etc, behaving as chairmen of political  parties and Vice- Chancellors,  Dean of Faculties, Head of Departments etc behaving like political party agents.  

Below is the  unedited version of the full speech.



I am very pleased to be associated with the maiden annual education lecture series of the University of Education, Winneba on the broad theme: The State of Education in Ghana – the Past, Present and Future. I thank the Vice-Chancellor (Prof. Mawutor Avorke) and his Management team, the Director of the Institute of Educational Research and Innovation Studies (IERIS) and the Lecture Series Planning Committee for granting me the opportunity to share my views on the sub-theme: Education in Ghana: Past, Present and Future: A Focus of Policy Reforms from Academic Perspective, I attach special importance to this opportunity because of the timeliness and relevance of the topic to current policy discourses on education. I particularly commend the Institute for locating today’s discourse on policy reforms within a historical and future context by emphasizing the Past, the Present and the Future. Indeed, as the adage goes, ‘the most effective  way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history’. Hence, “a generation that ignores history has no past and no future”. It is only when we search the past of policy reforms that our understanding of today’s policy reforms becomes strategically meaningful for the future. Ayekoo!!!

Prof. Chairman, prior to addressing the key issues embedded in the topic, permit me to contextualize the phenomenon ‘academic perspective’. ‘What does the phrase ‘academic perspective’ connote in my task? A review of literature on academic culture suggests that an academic discourse is that which stimulates intellectual curiosity, critical thinking and objective analysis within a non-threatening environment. It is characterized by unbiased analysis of issues. As implied in Albert Einstein’s exposition on academic freedom, an academic presentation is premised on ‘what one holds to be true’ and ‘one must not conceal any part of what one has recognized to be true… because restriction impedes rational judgment and action” (cited in Reichman (2017). In this light, my task is very clear: to analyse past and present educational reforms within the context of an objective mindset and project the future education reforms. This is exactly what I am going to do.

Prof Chairman, policy plays a pivotal role in the operations of all sectors of a nation’s economy. It explicitly provides a decision framework that directs an action of any sector of a nation’s economy towards the attainment of the nation’s overall development agenda. Within the context of education, UNESCO (2021) simply defines policy as ‘official statements of goals to which the system of education is directed’. Guided by UNESCO’s definition, I conceptualize educational policy as a documented endorsed government plan that serves as reference point in the functioning of stakeholders in education: students, teachers, head teachers, headmasters/mistresses, principals, directors of education, sectional heads, deans of faculties, provosts, registrars, vice-chancellors etc.


The educational system we inherited from the British has undergone many reforms or changes since our nation was declared a Republic in 1960. Governments of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), the Liberation Council (NLC), the Progress Party (PP), the National Redemption Council (NRC), the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC), the People’s National Party (PNP), the Provisional National Defence Council (AFRC), the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) have all effected changes in the educational system.

PRE-REPUBLIC ERA (1844- 1960)

The history of educational reforms in Ghana dates back to the colonial days when as a result of the Bond of 1844, the colonial government realized how expensive direct governance of the Gold Coast colony had become. The cost of a European working in Africa was four times that of an African working in Africa (Boakye 2019). They realized that governing the colony indirectly
through educated local people was less expensive. The colonial government therefore introduced several reforms that aimed creating an elite group through whom the colony could be indirectly ruled. This realization triggered Governor Guggisberg‘s 16 principles of education which informed the 1925 Education Ordinance. The reforms called for a thorough primary education, secondary school curriculum that adequately prepared young people for the university, the establishment of a university in the colony; equal educational opportunities boys and girls; co-education; improved quality teachers; character training; the teaching of religion as part of school life; organizing games as part of school life; integration of health, welfare and local industry courses taught in school; training and maintaining sufficient African inspectors of schools and vernacular as a means of instruction. The principle also provided for education that cannot be compulsory and free; Government-Mission cooperation; subsidized mission education, centrally controlled education throughout the Gold Coast and the provision of trade schools with a technical and literary.

Between 1951 and 1960, when the Gold Coast lacked full self-government, Dr. Nkrumah and his team identified inadequacies in the inherited educational system. They therefore argued for the introduction of an Accelerated Development Plan for Education (ADPE) 1951 (Graham, 2013; McWilliam, 1959). This was a 10-year comprehensive educational plan that sought to expand access, improve the quality of education, overhaul pre-tertiary curriculum; reduce the role of the private sector in education and make the Government solely responsible for providing pre-tertiary education. As articulated by Adu-Gyamfi et al. (2016), the rationale for the CPP government taking full responsibility of providing education was to promote national identity and patriotism in young people.

The CPP ERA (1960 -1966)

Prof. Chairman, as a Republic, our country recorded her first educational reform during the Convention People’s Party (CPP) era under Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. Leveraging on his belief that ‘the African is capable of managing its own affairs’, Nkrumah’s educational policy reform sought to answer one key question: What new thing can we introduce in education to ensure that graduates reasoned as Ghanaians, worked in the interest of Ghana and placed Ghana first in his/her relations with the West? Innovations were effected in contents of curriculum and teaching approaches to reflect post-independence needs of Ghana within its egalitarian political philosophy.

Guided by its egalitarian political philosophy, UNESCO’s 1960 Convention against Discrimination in Education and the Education Act of 1961 (Act 87), access expansion indexed to quality and equity were at the centre of the CPP Government’s educational reforms. These were pursued through two key policies: (i) the 1951 Accelerated Development Plan (ADP) and the 1961 Education Act (Act 87). The ADB laid the foundation for the Government in terms of committing financial resources to the expansion of educational infrastructure and access and (ii) the 1961 Education Act (Act 87) Significantly, Act 87 gave legal backing to the educational changes the CPP administration had initiated prior to the declaration of Ghana as a Republic. The Act
established a three-level public pre-tertiary education system comprising primary (6years); middle (4 years) and school education (7 years). The government was solely responsible for primary and middle school education. Private sector participation was limited to the provision of secondary education, and later, pre-primary education. The Act also empowered the CPP government to introduce free and compulsory education for all children of school going age. Section 2 of the Act introduced free and compulsory education for the first time in Ghana and prescribed punitive measures for parents and guardians who failed to enroll their school going children in schools. Tuition fees at the primary and middle school education were abolished but parents and guardians were responsible for providing essential books and materials required by their wards for use in practical subjects (Addae-Mensah et al, 1973). At the public secondary and training education levels, only prescribed fees were to be charged; and individuals who contravened this provision were liable on a summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £100 (Act 87, section 21; see also Addae-Mensah et al, 1973). Section 6 of the Act provided for a decentralized education system which led to the creation of Local Education Authorities (LEA) which were responsible for building, equipping and maintaining all public primary and middle schools in the locality.

A ‘national’ secondary schools project, driven through the Ghana Education Trust (GET), was embarked upon with the aim of increasing access to quality secondary education in remote and poor regions such as the then Northern, Upper West, and Upper East areas. CPP ensured that schools were staffed with well-trained and motivated teachers to enhance the quality of educational provision. The rapid expansion of primary and middle schools across the country necessitated the expansion of initial teacher training facilities in the country. Accordingly, the government built 35 new training centers across the country (Bame, 1973; Williams, 1966). The expansion of secondary education also increased the demand for qualified graduate teachers leading to the establishment of the University College of Education in Cape Coast (Now UCC) in 1962 and the conversion of the the then Kwame Nkrumah Ideological Institute at Winneba into an Advanced Teacher Training College (now UEW) in 1966 to offer specialized training courses for post-secondary Certificate. Teachers during this period enjoyed salaries comparable to people with similar qualifications in other professions; with Nkrumah declaring that he wanted the profession “to give service that is second to none” The CPP also invested in the expansion of secondary and technical education through the establishment of the Ghana Education Trust to support the rapid
expansion of secondary and technical education in the country.

Until 1966 when the CPP Government was overthrown and the Governments of the National Liberation Council (NLC) and the Progressive Party scrapped fee free education because it was viewed as an albatross on the nation’s neck. no parent in Ghana paid any school fees from Primary school to University levels. These reforms started.


The National Liberation Council (NLC) which took over from the CPP saw Nkrumah’s educational policy as elitist (Braimah, Mbowura, & Seidu, 2014). The Council, which depended greatly on the advise of Dr. K.A. Busia, saw education as key to the socio-economic development of the country. A committee chaired by Prof A.A. Kwapong was set up in 1966 to examine weaknesses in the inherited educational policy and recommend correctional strategies with emphasis on quality and relevance of education to the country‘s economic growth (Quist, & Apusigah, 2003).

The Committee, among others, recommended the establishment of two national councils: one for pre-university and one for higher education to coordinate activities of each level of education; upward review of the salaries and improved conditions of service of teachers; and continuous review of pre-tertiary school curricular to reflect the changing scientific, technological and cultural needs of the Ghanaian society. It emphasized the need strengthen the role of Educational
Units/missionary bodies in the management of education. Two recommendations of the Committee were rejected by the Government: (i) making religious education a compulsory examination subject (ii) making Ghanaian language the medium of instruction for the first 3-years of primary education. It however accepted that a Ghanaian language should be taught as a subject at the primary level.

It is worth mentioning that contents of the NLC’s educational policies did not deviate very much from Nkrumah’s policies as provided in 1961 Education Act (Act 87). It continued with the decentralization process initiated by Nkrumah. However, due to financial constraints, the NLC government the elimination of the 4-year middle school system and a reduction in secondary
education to 4 years so that pupils moved from 6-year primary education to a 4-year secondary education. This was an attempt to redefine basic or elementary education to mean pre-university education. The most significant contribution of the NLC government was the decision to give back to the churches and other missionary bodies, the control over the management of their basic schools (Ampadu, & Mohammed, 2004; Martin, 1976). This was done to reduce government expenditure on basic education. The government could not provide the necessary teaching and learning materials in the public schools. This led to deteriorating standards and resignation of many teachers from the public schools to take up employment in private schools and other lucrative public services. Rural communities were deprived of quality education. By 1969, quality basic education had gradually taken on the features of a ’private good‘ as against ‘public good‘ (Boakye, 2019). 78.

The Progress Party (1969-1972)

When Dr. Busia became the Prime Minister, under the Progress Party Government, he pursued the educational policies of the NLC government (McWilliam & Kwamena-Poh, 1975; Quist & Apusigah, 2003). In 1970, he set up an education review committee under the chairmanship of Mr. Allotei Konuah, a former headmaster of Accra Academy, to review and make recommendations r addressing identified gaps in the educational system. The Konuah Committee, like the Kwapong Committee, recommended reduction of the duration for pre-tertiary education and proposed the replacement of the 4-year middle school with a 3-year JSS Junior and 4-year Senior
Secondary Schools (JSS/SSS). Dr. Busia could not however implement the Allotei Konuah recommendations before he was removed from office by the National Redemption Council (NRC) in 1972.

National Redemption Council (NRC)/Supreme Military Council (SMC) Era (1972-1979)

The educational policies of the NRC, under the leadership of Col. Kutu Acheampong’s were trigged by the need to consolidate the practical component of our educational system. The Council took over the leadership mantle when here was a general public dissatisfaction with the educational system. As articulated by Mankoe (2004), ‘the 17-year duration of pre-tertiary education was considered too long and expensive for both government and parents’ and the content of the curriculum, like the NLC and PP, viewed as not relevant to
the socio-economic practical needs of the country. To address these challenges, Col. Acheampong in 1972, set up a Committee chaired by Rev. Prof. N.K. Dzobo of the University of Cape Coast, to review the inherited educational system. The Committee’s recommendations were were accepted by the government with slight changes. Significantly, the recommended reform was a reflection of the provisions of the 1961 Education Act and the recommendations of the the Kwapong and Konuah Committeea. The reform introduced a new structure for education in the country which drastically reduced the duration of pre-tertiary education from seventeen years to thirteen years; thus reviving the junior secondary and senior secondary school concept. At the basic level, the curriculum laid emphasis on languages, mathematics, science, agriculture and practical and vocational schools. Schools were urged to fully engage pupils in in cultural activities, youth programmes, sports and games (Adu-Gyamfi, Donkoh, & Addo, 2016). To instil in the individual an appreciation of the need for change directed towards the development of human and material resources of the country through science and technology (Republic of Ghana, 1974) and the need to maximize the benefit of agriculture, schools in line Acheampong’s Operation Feed Yourself policy, ensured that no land was left undeveloped. The school farm concept became prominent and every school mandated to have a school farm or garden.

The government resolved to implement the 1974 reform on pilot basis by establishing one Junior Secondary school in each of the then ten regions. To ensure effective implementation of the reforms, the government established the Ghana Education Service in 1974 (Little, 2010). Once GES was firmly in place in 1974, the government begun pilot implementation of the 1974 reform. Unfortunately, the SMC administration was overthrown through a coup d‘état on 4th June 1979 by the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council.

The Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC)/People’s National Party (PNP) Era (1979-1981)

Not much educational decisions were made by the AFRC because Flt Lt. J.J. Rawlings handed over the leadership of the country to the People’s National Party (PNP) led by the Dr. Hilla Limann few months after removing Col. Acheampong from office. The PNP administration did not make any significant changes to the educational system inherited from the SMC . To reduce the cost of secondary education to both government and parents, however, Dr. Limann pushed for the de-boardinization of the secondary school system. In pursuit of this, he invested in constructing new community day secondary schools to serve a cluster of communities in a catchment area (Antwi 1992). The PNP government also initiated the Curriculum Enrichment Programme (CEP) to emphasize the teaching of cultural and environmental studies in schools (Fobi, Koomson, & Godwyll, 1995; Antwi, 1992). Dwindling economic situation in the country could not however support the implementation of the Government’s reforms. As Abbey (1990) articulates, the unbearable economic destitution compelled mass exodus of about 2 million Ghanaians including teachers to neighboring Nigeria (Abbey, 1990). These difficulties led to the overthrow of the Limann Government in 1981.

The Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) Era (1981-1992)

To cope with the economic challenges facing the country when it took office, the PNDC under Flt Lt. JJ Rawlings, solicited support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). According to Agyeman-Duah, 1987, cite din Boakye, 2019), ‘the Fund in 1983 approved a loan facility worth about $377 million under a Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP), which emphasized liberal economic reforms’, which included reforming the educational system. As part of the SAP, the NDC government was required to drastically reduce its social spending. In pursuit of this, the Government constituted a Committee chaired by Dr. E. Evans-Anfom to review previous
educational policies particularly the 1974 Dzobo Report and propose strategies that would guide the formulation of a national educational policy that would would enure access to to quality and equitable in educational facilities across the country (Owusu et al.,2016; Antwi, 1992; Abosi, & Brookman-Amissah, 1992). Following acceptance of the Evans Amfom Committee Report, introduced education reforms in 1987, which from all indications sought to practicalise the 1974 blueprint of the Dzobo Committee’s Junior Secondary School concept. Contrary to the Dzobo Committee’s recommended piloting approach to the implementation of the JSS concept, the PNDC adopted a Country-wide implementation approach. While the philosophy behind the JSS concept
was laudable, there public caution against the rushed large scale implementation of the programme was resisted by government.

NDC Era (1992-2000/2009-2016)

Educational Reforms of the NDC, under the leadership of his Excellencies Flt Lt JJ Rawlings, Prof John Attah -Mills and Mr. John Dramani Mahama, have been consistent with the PNDC initiatives with minor variations. Informed by the 1992 Constitution, the NDC under Rawlings ushered the nation into another phase of free education with the launch of the 1996 Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (fCUBE) Programme in fulfilment of Article 38 sub-section 2 of the 1992 Constitution. When Prof Attah-Mills assumed office as President, he continued with the
pre-tertiary education policies initiated by the NPP administration. But revised the 4-year secondary education introduced in 2007 to 3 years in 2009 in line with the provisions of the 1987 Educational Reforms. In addition, Atta-Mills introduced the Free School Uniform (FSU) project in 2010 which sought to reduce the cost of education on parents, increase enrolment in schools, and boost the domestic manufacturing industry. By the end of 2012, over 1 million uniforms had been distributed across the country. When the sad event of President Mills’s demise ushered in His Excellency John Dramani Mahama as President in accordance with Article 66 of the 1992 Constitution, he continued with the existing educational system.

The party initiated a National Strategic Plan to consolidate the integration of Kindergarten Education as part of Basic Education delivery in the country, introduced a school uniform policy that provided provided free school uniforms to children in needy and deprived communities across the country; a free exercise book policy through which the Government between 2009 and 2012 distributed over 40 million exercise books per year to about 4.8 million pupils in Basic Schools nationwide as a strategy for strengthening basic school education. The NDC also initiated a policy of eliminating “Schools Under Trees’’. It also promoted ICT at the basic level by supplying laptop and desktop computers schools and consolidated implementation of the the School Feeding Programme by doubling the number of beneficiary school children from about 600,000 pupils in 2008/2009 to over 1.4 million in 2011/2012 and increasing value of the Capitation Grant by 50%. To promote science, mathematics and technical education, the NDC also invested in the establishment and rehabilitation of Science Resources Centres across the country. A National Apprenticeship Programme was also introduced which aimed at enrolling over 13,000 apprentices annually in 25 different skills areas for JHS students who were unable to access Senior High Schools. A policy of providing short-term training and employment programmes for the youth as part of an out of-school Technical & Vocational Education & Training initiative was also introduced through a scheme called the Local Enterprises and Skills Development Programme (LESDEP). In 2015, the NDC launched the Free School Sandals programme which could not be implemented in full because the NDC lost the 2016 presidential elections.

The NDC also paid attention to SHS access enhancement issues in line with Article 26 (b) of the 1992 Constitution, which explicitly provides that: secondary education in its different forms, including technical and vocational education, shall be made generally available and accessible to all by every appropriate means, and in particular, by the progressive introduction of free
education. In line with this constitutional provision, the NDC Government with support from the World Bank under the Secondary Education Improvement Programme. (SEIP), introduced a progressively fee free SHS education in 2014. The NDC maintained the Northern Scholarship instituted by the CPP Government. Through the NDC’s progressively fee free programme, scholarships for needy senior high school students. The NDC also invested heavily in senior high schools building projects and capacity building for Mathematics, Science and ICT teachers.

The Government invested in expansion of education infrastructure and teacher capacity development. It also created the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFUND) to complement funding at the tertiary education level. By 2016, the NDC had further invested in the construction of Community Senior High Schools, strengthening capacity of science and mathematics teachers through revamping of Science Laboratories in Colleges of Education and implementing what it termed ‘a progressively Free Senior High School programme’.

NPP ERA (2001 -2008/2016-2022)

The second major education reform occurred in 2007 in fulfilment of President Kuffour’s electioneering campaign promise to overhaul the education sector if he won the 2004 general elections. The government set up the Anamuah-Mensah‘s committee to introduce educational reforms that would reflect the human capital needs of the country; preserve the cultural identity/traditional indigenous knowledge or creativity of the Ghanaian; and to bridge the science and technology knowledge gap. Following the Anamuah-Mensah Committee’s report, kindergarten education was integrated into the basic education system. In 2005, the NPP Government introduced the Capitation Grant at the basic school level as a means of ensuring that challenges associated with implementing the fCUBE were reduced. The capitation grant abolished extra cost and levies relating to examination, facilities management, security charges, games and sports) that parents pay. It also introduced the school feeding programme which initially aimed at increasing access to schools in deprived communities and a free Metro Bus ride for children in basic school towards making education affordable and accessible to all children.

In September 2017, the Government of the NPP decided to move beyond the Constitutional mandate of ‘Progressive introduction of Free Senior Secondary Education’ by introducing an instantaneous wholesale free SHS programme as we are experiencing now. The announcement of the NPP Government’s model of Free SHS programme generated public debates which fundamentally focused on the implementation strategy. Indeed, no contributor to the initial debates kicked against the phenomenon of Free SHS nor denied the access expansion advantages associated with the removal of all fees and other related costs in the provision of senior high school education in the country. There were, however, questions of implementation concerns that remained unanswered prior to the implementation of the policy. These included:

1. ‘How do we ensure that quality is not compromised in the wholesale implementation of the
Free SHS policy?

2. How do we sensitize stakeholders, particularly parents against reneging on their fundamental shared responsibilities towards schools?

3. How was the policy going to be funded to assure its sustainability without Government reneging on its financial commitment to other sectors of the economy? These were questions of concern which some stakeholders sought answers for.

Lessons for Future Policies

Prof Chairman, in ensuring that future educational policies are collectively owned by Ghanaians irrespective of political, tribal or religious orientation, it is important that questions around affordability , feasibility and sustainability are placed at the centre of the policy discourse right from the initiation phase. Questions such as the following will be strategically helpful: (i) Is the policy affordable in terms of its socio-cultural, private, political, financial costs? What is or wil be the opportunity cost of the intended policy to stakeholders? (ii) Is the policy feasible/workable in terms of requisite resources (human, material, etc) for implementation within the context of access, quality and equity? and (iii) Is the policy sustainable in terms of the political will to commit moral and financial support to ensure continuity beyond the life span of the initiator? Governments should rethink the following issues that I have identified with my engagement with the aforementioned policies.

First, the analysis suggests strongly that educational challenges identified by the Kwapong, Allotei, Jacob, Dzobo and Anamuah-Mensah committees have been the same over the years. Recommended implementation strategies by the Committees are often ignored by the Government. For example, even though the Anamuah-Mensah Committee did not propose an increase of the 3-year duration of the SSS, the government increased it from 3 years to 4 years and changed the name from Senior Secondary School (SSS) to Senior High School (SHS). I wonder what impact e change of name from SSS to SHS has made on the quality and equitable provision of secondary school education in the country. As The Committee’s recommendation that pupils at the lower primary should be instructed in their local language was also rejected with government opting for the use of the English language. It will be very useful if future educational policies will focus more on implementation gaps in past policies and put in measures to address them rather than recycling the same policy content under a new name. Governments should also implement recommendations made by Committees rather than pushing in unrecommended reforms.

Second, I observed a common feature between the revolutionary PNDC government’s reaction to diverse opinions on its wholesale implementation of the JSS programme and that of the NPP regarding the wholesale implementation of the Free SHS programme. In the case of the PNDC, Government’s resentment to constructive criticisms of the rushed nature of implementing the JSS compelled stakeholders to keep quiet. Even GNAT at that time retreated for fear of harassment. I
remember the then President of GNAT exhorting teachers as follows: ‘‘If you can’t beat them, join them’. The end result is that, to date the laudable rationale behind the JHS concept which largely sought to promote hands-on training for students has not been achieved. Most canopies that were constructed to serve as workshops for training students in technical and
vocational skills remained white elephants, with some later converted into classrooms. Similarly, a number of individuals and groups cautioned the NPP government not to rush the implementation of the nation-wide across-board Free SHS programme but rather make better preparations to ensure its sustainability. Like the PNDC, hostile reactions were received from the NPP and the degree of threats and tagging that characterized contrasting opinions, tended to silence citizens and stifle constructive implementation ideas. In future policy reforms, Governments should create a nion-threatening environment and embrace contrasting views on policy implementation. A national stakeholder forum devoid of political party discrimination should be created for constructive interrogation of issues.

In conclusion, I expect our future educational policy to target education rural less-endowed contexts in our country. This is because our past and present educational policies have made little impact on quality and equity components of the SDG 4, especially in disadvantaged rural schools. In managing the limited funds available for the Free SHS, as an example, future educational policy must focus more on the poor who cannot pay their children’s fees. This would ensure fairness and justice, which underpin equity. We may have to learn a lesson from China. It is through fairness in distributing educational resources that China has become China today. China ensured fairness by reasonably allocating educational resources, giving priority to the rural, remote and poor areas as well as regions of minority, increasing the aid for poor students and giving equal education to farmer’s children so as to make every student beneficial talent’ (Hu JIngtao, cited in Jin Baohua, 2013).

Thank you.

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