General News of Thu, 23 Feb 201731
Continuing students must benefit from free SHS – Ablakwa
The New Patriotic Party government may have shifted the goal posts on its free Senior High School promise, the MP for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has suggested.
Mr. Ablakwa, a former deputy Education Minister believes government would have shortchanged Ghanaians if it fails to implement the Free SHS policy across the board for fresh and continuing students.
According to him, government, from recent indications intends to roll out the policy with students entering high school at the start of the 2017/18 academic year; a move which he says is at variance with the manifesto promise of the NPP.
President Nana Akufo-Addo himself noted that government would fund the free SHS for all those who qualify for entry from the 2017/2018 academic year onwards.
But speaking to the press, Mr. Ablakwa noted that, “even as recently as 11th February, you [governent] said all students in SHS. That is why you were voted for; because you know most of the SHS students are 18 years and above so they were looking forward to the free SHS and voted for you but now you are backtracking.”
Thus, Mr. Ablakwa warned that the Minority in Parliament will resist any attempt by government to sideline continuing students in the implementation of the free SHS policy.
“That is why we are stating clearly today that we would hold him accountable to his promises,” the MP said.
Under the free SHS policy, beneficiaries will not have to pay admission fees, library fees, science centre fees, no computer lab fees, no examination fees and no utility fees, President Akufo-Addo has said.
He also assured that there will be free textbooks, free boarding facilities and free meals for boarders whilst day students will get a meal at school for free.
The free SHS policy will also cover agricultural, vocational and technical institutions at the high school level.