General News of Tue, 14 Feb 20176
'Only witches will condemn free SHS'
A Progressive People’s Party (PPP) Communicator, Charles Owusu has said that it would be an act of wizardly for anyone to speak against the implementation of the free Senior High School (SHS) programme announced by President Nana Akufo-Addo.
The President speaking at the 60th Anniversary celebration of Okuapeman Secondary School over the weekend announced the government’s intention to roll out the free SHS programme by the beginning of next academic year.
“The government of Ghana will fund the cost of public senior high schools for all those who qualify for entry from the 2017/2018 academic year onwards. Let me take this opportunity to spell out clearly what we intend to do so no one in Ghana is left in any doubt.
“By free SHS we mean that in addition to tuition which is already free, there will be no admission fee, no library fee, no science centre fee, no computer lab fee, no examination fee, and no utility fee; there will be free text books, free boarding and free meals, and day students will get a meal at school for free.” President Akufo-Addo said.
The President said: “Free SHS will also cover agricultural, vocational and technical institutions at the high school level. I also want to state clearly again that we have a well-thought out plan that involves the building of new public senior high schools and cluster public senior high schools”.
This announcement has led to debates on the feasibility of the programme with critics asking the government to come out with the full cost of the programme. Others have also indicated that the government ought to wait to build more infrastructure before implementing the programme.
Commenting on the policy on Peace FM’s Kokrokoo Programme Tuesday, Charles Owusu opined that the policy is feasible and hence argued that it would only be ‘witches and wizards’ who would speak against its implementation..
“It is only witches and wizards who would want to speak against such a feasible project, it is about priorities…,” he argued.
He said he could not come to terms with the fact that same people who paid huge judjement debts would think a policy such as free SHS is feasible.
“We take money and organize Ghana@50 etc, SADA, SUBAH etc, it’s all about the will to do whatever we want and we in the PPP believe in free Education from the lower level to SHS…,” he added.
He however called on the Minister of Education to come clean and list the full details of the programme.