The opposition NDC’s presidential candidate has disclosed that the policy, introduced by the incumbent New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration under Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will stay if he becomes president.
“Free Senior High School education has come to stay. If anybody tells you that I, John Dramani Mahama, will abolish Free SHS when I come into power tell the person he is a bloody liar,” the former president said.
He made the comments during an interaction with the Overlord of Dagbon, Ya-Na Abukari II in the Northern Region while paying the traditional ruler a courtesy call.
According to him, he has never been against the policy, contrary to an erroneous perception by certain groups of people, stating that he is only against the implementation process.
In his view, the implementation process under the current administration caused parents, students, and teachers great inconvenience because the current government failed to continue school blocks, called E-blocks, started by the NDC administration.
President Nana Akufo-Addo campaigned and won largely on a promise to roll out an ambitious programme to make senior high school education completely free.
Sticking to his word, he introduced the policy a year after taking up the reins of government in 2016, enabling Junior High School graduates who qualify to gain admission into a public Senior High Schools to do so at a cost to state coffers.
The policy charges the cost of tuition, admission, textbooks, library fees, science centre fees, fees for ICT, examination fees, utility fees, boarding, and meals to government.
Although the policy has been criticised for excessively draining state coffers, the NPP administration remains committed to keeping it in place on grounds that the policy takes away financial barriers to high school education.
Mr Mahama told the Overlord of Dagbon that his government will better handle the policy from this point onwards.
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