Deontological Perspective of the Free Secondary Education Policy in Ghana

Alexander Kyei Edwards, Samuel Asare Amoah


The Free Senior High School (aka. FSHS) policy of the Ghana government has attracted views from both critics and supporters. The objective for this investigation was to examine the deontological ethics of the FSHS educational policy leadership within the framework of utilitarianism-it is as a “duty” and for “public good”. Critics are questioning the policy leadership, intentionality, feasibility, and sustainability. Supporters are also defending the FSHS as a timely social intervention, for equitable access, and the ability of the national economy to afford by re-strategizing government priorities, national indebtedness, and the entire school management system. The research design was exploratory mixed method using a sample study (N=55) that came from six schools (students, head teachers, teachers, and parents) in one region. Data were analysed under the themes: perceptions, benefits, and challenges. Responses showed that the FSHS seems to be a natural progression from the FCUBE policy that is hailed as successful by the international donors. Respondents confirmed the benefits derived from the FSHS policy as altruistic. The discussions followed the theory of ethical deontology, policy leadership implications, democratization of education in Ghana, and the utilitarian concept for future national development. Recommendations include the Government of Ghana (GoG) should ensure “fitness” and “rightness” to align with national priorities in the economy. Secondly, GoG should fight against corruption and “noise” in the FSHS implementation system. Thirdly, the GoG should consider cost sharing and decentralization of education provision in Ghana. Policy makers (legistrators) should ensure that the education system recognizes Ghanaian children as deserving better quality and the incommensurability of values of Education for All.

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