General News of Mon, 11 Sep 201749
NPP's free SHS is Mahama’s idea – Alex Kyeremeh
Graduates from Junior High Schools who have gained admissions into public second cycle institution (Senior High School) will now enjoy free education under the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government leaving those already in school to continue to pay fees and other bills.
The initiative was part of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP)’s campaign promise to make education free in the country.
Prior to the 2008, 2012 and 2016 respectively , the ruling party at the time, National Democratic Congress (NDC) had criticized the policy and went further to say it was impossible.
However, the party adopted what was called progressively Free Senior High School’ which mean, they were going to make SHS free but in a gradual process.
But, on Kumasi-based Otec FM, former Deputy Education Minister, Honorable Alex Kyeremeh, said the current ‘Free Senior High School’ policy by the ruling party NPP is rather progressive and not absolutely free as perceived by them, adding that it is an idea of Former President John Dramani Mahama.
He said the NPP is implementing what is called, progressively free SHS which started under the previous administration.
“It has already existed. About 320,000 students enjoyed free education during the NDC’s era. Looking at the budget presented at the time indicated that, 120,000 children in the rural areas as well enjoyed free boarding. In addition, the NDC government still continued to pay all feeding grants of children in the three Northern Regions. Quite apart from what has been said earlier, a total of 3,200, students’ fees were paid from loans granted by World Bank. The same government paid scholarships for needy but brilliant students in the country”, Alex Kyeremeh analyzed.
The former minister conversely argued that, since not all student of the second cycle institutions are going to enjoy the free education, it can never be known as ‘Free SHS’ but rather the best description is Progressively Free SHS’.
“Until when every child could enjoy free senior high, we cannot say there is free education in the country it is rather progressive”, he insisted.