President and Chairman of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) in the 2016 election has cautioned government against over politicisation of the Free Senior High School (SHS) programme.
According to Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, this is to ensure the sustainability of the programme after the exit of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration.
More than eight years after it was publicised by candidate Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on the ticket of the NPP as a major policy decision that could propel the country’s development, the policy kick started yesterday.
About 400,000 students are expected to benefit from the education policy that will exempt them from paying for tuition and other fees.
At the launch of the logo for the policy two weeks ago, the president said apart from free tuition there will be no fees collected for use of the library, computers, utilities etc.
There will also be a free hot meal for day students as well.
“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,” the President said recently.
Yesterday President Akufo-Addo launched the programme at the West African Senior High School (WASS) in Accra. The launch was in fulfillment of his long held campaign promise.
But commenting on the programme as it took off, Dr. Nduom said he does not understand all the fuss created about the programme with launches ‘here and there.’
He believes it was not necessary for the government to have created a Free SHS Secretariat, arguing that it should be part of the mainstream educational system.
According to him, it was only creating “another office which means appointing more people, paying some more people and giving some things we don’t have.”
“What is the point? Is it just for politics or what? If it is politics then it is dangerous, because then another person might come and decide that the policy belongs to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and may change it.”
Dr. Nduom said the Free SHS programme should be depoliticised as the country goes by the constitutional provisions for educating the citizenry.
He was all for the policy staying as he believed it was important for national development.