Youth Bridge Foundation (YBF), a youth focused organisation, has called on corporate institutions to align their Corporate Social Responsibility activities to support the Free SHS Policy initiative and sustain it with a national development agenda.
Mr Seth Oteng, the Executive Director of the YBF, who made the call in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra, on Tuesday said: “The major challenge of the policy is sustainability, since donors are dropping out, so if the corporate people support this developmental activity, they will gain from the human capital that would come from the policy.”
Commending the government for accepting the challenge and taking it up, Mr Oteng admitted that certainly, the implementation of the policy would not be an easy task, but “Our call is consistent with the president’s call and we should look beyond aid,” he said.
The Executive Director of the YBF, expressed concern at how equitable the policy would be for the rural folks, deprived communities and youth with disabilities, who could not access the programme.
“If they can look at equity within the context of supporting young people with disability, deprived communities and rural folks, it will be laudable,” he said.
Mr Oteng charged government to be responsive and have a clearly defined monitoring and evaluation system that would help improve the policy, such as identifying gaps, critiques and looking into loop holes to correct and improve the system as well as being responsive to feed-backs.
He also urged Civil Society Organisations to support the Free SHS policy to make it work.
The Policy, which was officially launched on Tuesday, September 12, at the West Africa Senior High School (WASS) is a flagship programme of the New Patriotic Party Government.
At the 60th Anniversary of the Okuapeman SHS at Akropong-Akuapem, President Akufo-Addo explained that the Policy was aimed at building an educated populace for speedy national development and progress.
“By Free SHS, we mean that, in addition to tuition, which is already free, there will be no admission fees, no library fees, no science centre fees, no computer laboratory fees, no examination fees, and no utility fees,” he stated.
“Additionally, there will be free textbooks, free boarding and free meals and day students will get a meal at school for free.”
“Free SHS will also cover agricultural, vocational and technical institutions at the High School level,” the President explained.
An estimated 1.6 million eligible students between the ages of 15 and 17 years across the country are expected to benefit from the Policy.