General News of Wed, 13 Sep 201716
Cabinet considered all-inclusive Free SHS - Okudzeto Ablakwa
Former Deputy Minister of Education, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has said he can provide documents from President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s cabinet meetings proving that government considered implementing the Free Senior High School for every student, but could not afford it, hence had to start with only first year students.
According to him, government would have coughed GHS1.8bllion at a go just for one term for first, second and third year students in the secondary schools.
He, therefore, said government has realised the opposition National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) stance on progressively free education was better and hence have in a U-turn, done same by beginning the policy with only first year students.
Speaking with Moro Awudu on Class91.3FM’s Executive Breakfast Show (EBS) on Wednesday, 13 September 2017 the North Tongu MP said: “The NPP should be bold to admit that page 107 of their manifesto, they said it will be free for all and I’m just from the education sector so I know that three scenarios was presented to their cabinet.
“They first considered if we were to fund for all the streams [that is] first, second and third year students, what will be the financial implication and their cabinet saw that it’s not sustainable. So they initially wanted to fulfil their promise. I know and I put it to the Deputy Minister yesterday on another platform and he couldn’t challenge me. I know and I have the cabinet memo. I have the cabinet decision and all. That is what they had promised in the manifesto and they considered it.
“The President asked that the education ministry should present them with the scenarios and I can tell you that I have all of the cabinet discussions and the liberations on this matter so they shouldn’t push us. They should just admit and let’s just show sincerity and respect to the Ghanaian people…”
The NDC has accused government of deceiving Ghanaians with the Free SHS policy. According to the NDC, government promised every Ghanaian child will enjoy free education only to win power and implement a policy where only first year students are to enjoy the policy. The NPP however, has denied having promised Free SHS for every Ghanaian child in SHS at a go.