The leader and 2016 presidential candidate of the Great Consolidated Popularly Party (GCPP), Dr. Henry Lartey has described government’s flagship education policy, the free Senior High School (SHS) as a good policy.He however asserted that, the policy lacks clarity. According to him, despite the fact that the NPP promised to provide every Ghanaian child with free senior high school, it is clear that the policy will only benefit candidates who are entering form one this September.
He said the party in 2016 promised that they will roll out the policy for every child but from the explanation given so far, only form one students would benefit. He said, apart from that clarity, a number of issues are unclear and has called on government to come clear on the policy so Ghanaians will understand it properly.
The policy he said is good but ''it will be important for people to understand it properly. Some parents are confused and are not clear with the explanation given by government on the policy. Some chiefs within the best performing schools he stated are also calling for a percentage for residents within their jurisdiction.
‘’The ordinary people must understand the policy. The policy is starting next week and so I will admonish government to explain the policy into details so everybody will understand.’’ Commenting on the 8 percent of candidates who failed their English and Mathematics hence making it impossible for them to benefit this academic year, he said, government should also explain this to Ghanaians properly so they will understand that, their wards would be allowed to re-sit so when they pass, they are allowed to benefit next academic year.
‘’It is so important. Communication is key and so they need to explain to everybody so we can all understand,’’ he added. Dr. Lartey said he will not be a prophet of doom but believes the policy will succeed and has also expressed optimism that, the Nana Addo led administration would be able to sustain the policy because they’ve got the men.
Meanwhile, Deputy Education Minister in charge of Secondary and TVAET, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum has said payment of Parent and Teacher Association (PTA) levies would not be mandatory under the free Senior High School Policy.
Addressing the press at the Ministry today [Monday], the Deputy Minister said the policy will afford qualified beneficiaries free education at the secondary level.
He stressed, “Our PTA, levies, fees and utilities, development levy and even teacher motivation is going to be paid by the government, as a result we’ve made it abundantly clear to our headmasters that money should not be the reason a student must not go to school and no parent should receive a bill.”
According to him, several dialogues have been held with head teachers of various Senior High Schools to make them understand that students are not to be sacked from school for non-payment of any fees.