Education Minister has given assurance that for as long as the New Patriotic Party (NPP) remains in power, the Free Senior High School (SHS) policy and other people-centered initiatives will be sustained.
According to Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, the only way Free SHS can fail is if Ghanaians ever vote the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) back into power.
Citing the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) as a case in point, he stressed that the performance of the NDC in governance has been disastrous particularly because of their tendency of running down social intervention policies despite claiming to be socialists.
“There is only one reason this policy will fail. That’s if Ghanaians ever vote back the NDC. The only government that has come to destroy the social inventions; failing to bring the poor up is NDC. That’s the irony. Let me give you an example, NHIS is gone and now Nana Addo has to find money to resuscitate it. What has happened to the confidence of the people in NHIS? People now turn up in the hospitals without it. ” he remarked in response to a question posed him on Good Evening Ghana, Thursday.
"A vote for the NDC, will be a vote again against Free SHS. Ghanaians should learn” he reiterated.
The Free Senior High School program is the flagship education program by the new government that seeks increase access to Secondary Education by removing the burden of paying fees from parents.
Source of funding
President Akufo-Addo said the funds for Free SHS implementation will come from proceeds from the country's natural resources, mainly mineral and oil revenues.
He said it will be better for such money to be used to improve the lives of people than going into the pockets of a few.
Upgrading of infrastructure
As was done under the administration of former President John Agyekum Kufuor, President Akufo-Addo indicated that government intends to pursue the policy of upgrading 42 existing senior high schools to model schools, as was done in the case of West Africa Senior High School.
Government, he added, has also reserved 30% of places in the top 82 senior high schools to students from basic public schools, as, currently, these top schools are almost wholly populated by students from junior high private schools with good performance at the BECE, relative to the basic public schools.
Making his submission on Good Evening Ghana, Education Minister quizzed “if a social democratic party will take out 35 adverts against social intervention programme like Free SHS, are they really social democratic party?” to buttress his view that Ghanaians shouldn’t give the NDC the mandate to govern.
Under the policy, government would foot all bills including feeding fees, tuition fees and all other charges.
Over 420,000 eligible students would enjoy the program when it kicks off.