General News of Mon, 11 Sep 20175
Current free SHS not what Akufo-Addo promised – Minority
The Minority in Parliament says the current state of free senior high school (SHS) programme being rolled out by the government was not the one it promised the citizens last year.
The opposition lawmakers said the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) had promised Ghanaians a free SHS on a “universal basis” but that is not what has happened.
Page 107 of the NPP’s 2016 manifesto said: “Free SHS – The NPP will redefine basic education to include Senior High School (SHS), covering vocational, agricultural and technical schools, and make it available for free on a universal basis to all Ghanaians.”
But beneficiaries of the programme are junior high school (JHS) graduates who have had admissions into SHSs, the Minority has lamented.
Minority leader, Haruna Iddrisu is unhappy a total of 565,404 continuing students across the country would not benefit from the programme.
“The irony is that this is the group then candidate Akufo-Addo campaigned to and promised Free SHS,” he said.
At least over 400,000 students are expected to benefit from the programme, which will be launched on Tuesday.
The programme, which is an outcome of a campaign promise, will make an admission, examination, library and science laboratory fees free for junior high school (JHS) graduates who qualify for SHS.
But the NDC MPs want the government to apologise to Ghanaians for deceit. “By its inability to roll out Free SHS to cover those in second and third years – the NPP has only successfully vindicated those who said Akufo-Addo’s Free SHS promise was a hoax,” Mr Iddrisu said.
He said what Ghanaians have been presented with is “simply another version of Progressively Free SHS.”
The opposition lawmakers said some parents may be compelled to seek “fee-paying” schools for their children if the programme is not considered. “The continuous claim by President Akufo-Addo and his acolytes that they have fulfilled their UNIVERSAL FREE SHS FOR ALL promise is simply hypocritical,” Mr Iddrisu added.