General News of Sun, 5 Mar 20177
Policy document needed for Free SHS – Franklin Cudjoe
IMANI Africa’s President, Franklin Cudjoe, has questioned the absence of a policy document for the Akufo-Addo government’s free Senior High School (SHS) as delivered in the 2017 budget statement.
Mr. Cudjoe, speaking on The Big Issue on Citi FM, said the seeming lack of a policy document has contributed to uncertainties about the timelines, source of funding and scope of the policy.
He opined that, “the challenge of the conceptualization of policy and its implementation has always been a problem in this part of our world for both major political parties. I kept asking myself, where is the green paper on free SHS because it has been eight years since 2008 [when the policy was first trumpeted].”
“Some of the challenges we are dealing with right now point to the fact that, because there hasn’t been any clearly written policy that will guide the Free SHS policy, like most other policies, there is a reason we seem to be going back and forth.”
Funding of Free SHS
There has been uncertainty about how the New Patriotic Party’s major policy would be funded, with a controversy emanating from indications government would draw on the Heritage fund, among other sources.
But the free SHS programme, scheduled to take off from September 2017, will be financed from the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA), the Minister of Finance, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta said during the 2017 budget statement.
It will cost government GHc 400 million to implement the free SHS programme for the 2017/2018 academic year.
Also on the Big Issue, a Senior Lecturer of Public Sector Accountancy and Finance at the Accra Technical University, Dr. Ibrahim Zubairu, described the policy as a repackaged programme akin to the progressively free Senior High School education that was introduced by the Mahama administration.
This is a claim that the National Democratic Congress Minority has also made leading to it to tag the government’s promises as a “monumental deception”.