General News of Mon, 11 Sep 201714
Free SHS: Apologize for ‘snubbing’ continuing students – Minority
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) government should be apologizing to Ghanaians for its inability to fully implement the free secondary education policy as promised over the years, the Minority in Parliament has stated.
The Minority, at a press conference on Monday, said: “if the NPP had any modicum of respect for the good people of Ghana, they should at the very least be apologizing to Ghanaian for their inability to fulfill the promise for which they were voted.”
“The continued claim by President Akufo-Addo and his acolytes that they have fulfilled their Universal Free SHS for all promise is simply hypocritical,” the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, addressing the press, said.
As the first beneficiaries of the free secondary education start to register in schools nationwide, the Minority is still aggrieved the policy does not include continuing students.
For the Minority, it was a pure irony that the year groups the NPP campaigned to ahead of the 2016 elections would not enjoy the Free SHS policy.
‘Free SHS promise was a hoax’
This aside, Mr. Iddrisu said the skeptics of the policy had also been justified.
“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. What we have have been presented by the NPP is simply another version of Progressively Free SHS for some first years students.”
In the NPP’s time in opposition, the Mahama administration in 2014 started what it called the progressive introduction of free secondary education. This brand of free education was to start primarily with only day students.
At its peak, the progressive free secondary education covered about 500,000 students.
Class division in SHS
The Minority warned further that “what will emerge in our SHSs is a category of fee-paying studies for the wards of parents who can afford to pay fees for their wards and another category of so-called free SHS students thus introducing a class system into our public SHSs”