General News of Sun, 24 Sep 201747
Free SHS will breed corruption - Alhaji Bature
“Implementation of the Free Senior High School policy should be done progressively and not an all-at-once approach as adopted by government to prevent the incidence of corruption in the schools”, leading member of the opposition NDC Alhaji Bature Iddrisu has said.
According to Alhaji Bature although the government initiative is a worthy one, it will breed more corruption than good.
The Managing Editor of the Al Hajj Newspaper argued that introducing the policy to only first years and relegating the continuing students was discriminatory in the first place.
He noted that a number of the public Senior High Schools were already admitting students beyond their regular capacity and as a result could promote the incidence of head teachers making undue gains on the side.
“Government boarding houses can only admit less than 100, 000 students despite the over 400, 000 qualified ones. Where will the remaining unallocated go”, he quizzed Adom TV’s Omanhene Kwabena Asante on Badwam.
“It will breed corruption in the country! Because if my ward will be schooled for free without me paying fees and the school can only admit 500 or 600 students; if the headteacher demands payment of about GHC300 in order to admit your ward won’t you pay”, Alhaji Bature further asked.
The Akufo-Addo led administration introduced the Free SHS policy in fulfilment of the latter’s main campaign message ahead of the 2016 elections.
The promise eventually came to fruition on September 4, 2017 when the academic year started.
The policy has however received a lot of backlash from the minority in Parliament and some other opposition parties.
At a UN General Assembly meeting at the headquarters in New York, President Akufo-Addo told the United Nations that the decision by his government to implement the Free Senior High School education policy has led to the enrollment of over 90,000 students who would have otherwise dropped out of school.
He said the program has made it possible for the less privileged Ghanaians to keep their wards in school.