General News of Thu, 14 Sep 201751
We snubbed free SHS launch over T-shirt – Minority
The Minority in Parliament says it refused to attend the launch of government’s free SHS education policy because its members were not given the T-shirts printed for the occasion.
Minority Spokesperson on education, Peter Nortsu said they didn't attend the event because they did not want to look odd among the audience.
He told Raymond Acquah on Upfront on the Joy News channel on MultiTV Wednesday, government discriminated in the distribution of the free SHS T-shirts.
“Everybody in the majority was given [the t-shirt] to attend [the launch],” he said, adding same was not extended to the minority.
The promised free SHS education policy was launched with fanfare at the West African Secondary School (WASS) in Accra Tuesday.
At least over 400,000 students are expected to benefit from the programme, which levels the cost of secondary education for all qualified JHS students. The policy is projected to cost the country $100 million, an equivalent of ¢400 million for the first term of the first year.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo used the opportunity to extend a hand of friendship to critics of the programme.
He noted his decision to roll out the policy is borne out of his belief that “knowledge and talent are not for the rich and privileged alone.”
“Today, we throw open the doors of opportunity and hope to our young people…we have a sacred duty to our children and the generations beyond in ensuring that, irrespective of their circumstances, their right to education is preserved,” President Akufo-Addo said.
But the Minority wants government to extend the policy beyond the first year students.
“Our contention is the modality of operation,” Mr Nortsu ventilated, adding the policy’s source of funding is not sustainable.
The opposition lawmakers contended the government was simply continuing with the past regime’s “progressively free” education policy.
“The way you are doing it, we have a problem with it,” the Akatsi North MP told the government.
He believes “this is a policy that is good for Ghana” but he wants the government to listen to the concerns of the Minority.