‘Wholesale’ Free SHS policy condemned

Deputy Communications Director of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Fred Agbenyo, has described the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government’s ‘Free Senior High School Programme’ as “a wholesale education”

“There are places parents cannot afford school fees and that government can come in and support but not every person in the society cannot afford, so why do you do wholesale things?”, he asked.

The Ministry of Finance says it has released more than 50 per cent of the funds needed to finance the implementation of the free senior high schools (SHS) programme.

Deputy Minister of Finance, Abena Osei-Asare, said on Thursday that GH¢280 million out of the GH¢486 million required for the flagship programme on education had been released.

She explained that the accounts of all 647 schools across the country would be credited by the close of Friday for the smooth take-off of the programme.

But contributing to a discussion on TV3’s New Day hosted by Bright Nana Amfoh on Friday, Mr. Agbenyo said “if any government will provide free education, it is something we should all welcome but we shouldn’t get to a point where people will be compelled to move their kids to private schools”.

Though there are bound to be challenges, he admitted, government should not sweep glaring problems under the carpet, citing what he considered to be delay in releasing funds for a programme with just three days to go.

“The wholesale thing is not the best approach”, Mr. Agbenyo stressed.

A member of the New Patriotic Party branch in the United States of America, Kofi Ameyaw, reiterated government’s commitment to ensure that the programme succeed.

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“Access, equity and quality becomes the way so it is a good thing that government has taken this audacious step that this policy becomes a reality”, he explained.

Mr. Ameyaw advised, “I would want us to look at the good things that will come out. I am reaching out to the minority to come on board to support the initiative because they said it is not possible and I want them to come on board rather than watering it down”.

By Kweku Antwi-Otoo|TV3|3news.com|Ghana