General News of Tue, 5 Sep 201738

Free SHS not practicable - Murtala Mohammed

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Former Nantong MP, Murtala Muhammed has expressed pessimism about the chances of the Free Senior High School being implemented by the Akufo-Addo administration to succeed.

According to him the government's inability to be consistent with figures and cost involved in the implementation of the policy and sources of funding raises lots of doubts over the policy.

He mentioned contradictions with figures presented by the Finance Ministry and approved by Parliament and that of the Ghana Education Service and Education Ministry as very worrisome

The outspoken member of opposition NDC cautioned that the discrepancies may result in the failure of the programme.

"Running a country is not like running a private business... Now if you have a budget that you have presented and in that budget, you indicated that you were going to spend GHC400 million, in the mid-year budget, it was absolutely mute, you never told us. You cannot expend any money without what is approved by parliament" he stressed

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He also pointed out that, "we are talking about an academic year, granted that it's even a term, by the very statistics given by the Ministry that they are spending about GHC1000 per student and we have been told by your government that about 423000 students are going to benefit, multiply that by 1000 and that will give you more than GHC500million. What we have in the budget is not that way and we are talking about a term"

The Free SHS policy of the Akufo-Addo government is expected to commence from the start of the 2017/2018 academic year.

Meanwhile, Former Deputy Education Minister in charge of Tertiary, Okudzeto Ablakwa has said the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration commenced the implementation of the Free Senior High School programme.

He, therefore, stressed that the notion being created by communicators and representatives of the Akufo-Addo-led administration that the programme is an initiative of the government is false and inaccurate

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