General News of Thu, 14 Sep 201732
Free SHS: Anything that comes for free is not real - Allotey Jacobs
NDC Deputy Communications Director, Fred Agbenyo on Tuesday dismissed reports that the Akufo-Addo government is effectively rolling out the implementation of their free SHS policy.
Making his submissions on Peace FM, Fred Agbenyo pointed out some challenges with the policy and wondered why the government would receive praise for kick-starting the programme.
Listing some challenges fraught with the free SHS programme, he indicated that parents of students in some schools in the Volta Region will have to cough up monies to "buy one metal trunk.
"You’ll buy one chop box. You’ll buy one student size mattress. You will buy one pillow and one electric iron…one blanket, one cover cloth, two sets of night gowns. You’ll buy pyjamas, umbrella, rain coat, handkerchiefs, sets of black sandals, white canvass, cutlery set” and so forth as your children go to the Senior High School".
To him, once "parents are still incurring some cost", it cannot be said that education is free under the Akufo-Addo administration.
As if to echo the remarks by Fred Agbenyo regarding the free SHS policy, the Central Regional Chairman of the NDC, Allotey Jacobs stressed that he is uncertain the government can make education free.
According to him, "anything that's free is not real" and so if the government is saying education has been made free in the country; it may have to revise its notes".
Allotey Jacobs, speaking to host Kwami Sefa Kayi on Peace FM's Kokrokoo on Wednesday, September 13, wondered why the government would initiate free SHS programme whereas parents and various Senior High Schools would have to take part in bearing some costs.
He asked if the schools are going for entertainment shows, would the government bear the cost as well.
To Allotey Jacobs, though the government needs some applause for implementing the policy which will be beneficial to Ghanaians, there's nothing as free education.
"Anything that comes free, it is not real. So, no matter what parents will be paying some money…Immediately, you use the word ‘free’; it’s like everything should be free”.
Also chipping a line in the discussions regarding the free SHS policy, the NDC Director of Elections Samuel Ofosu Ampofo believed the Mahama administration was on the path to providing quality education.
He noted that, with the NDC's policy; education was to be made accessible to the poor and deprived in society but not as it has been made by the governing NPP.
He wondered why even the rich in society are to have their children going to SHS for free under the Akufo-Addo government.