Any parent who claims he or she pays for any money for the government’s Free Senior High School initiative is a liar, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Youth Employment Agency (YEA), Mr Awal Mohammed has told CTV’s Dwabre Mu host Kwame Appiah Kubi.
“What money did that parent pay?” Mr Mohammed asked.
According to him, the free SHS policy is absolutely free for the beneficiaries.
President Nana Akufo-Addo started delivering his free SHS campaign promise in the first year of his first term in office – 2017, contrary to the earlier scepticism expressed by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) about its feasibility.
Recently, former President John Mahama, who is the flagbearer of the NDC, said he will continue the programme and improve it should he be elected President again in the upcoming 7 December 2020 polls.
Mr Mahama said contrary to claims that he had plans of scrapping it, he has no such intentions, except to improve upon it.
Speaking at the Dagbon Overlord’s palace during a courtesy call on the Ya Na, as part of his campaign tours of the Northern Region, the flagbearer of the NDC, said: “Free Senior High School education has come to stay”.
“If anybody tells you that I, John Dramani Mahama, son of E.A Mahama, will abolish Free SHS when I come, tell the person he is a bloody liar”, he insisted.
According to him, “What I am against is the poor implementation of the free SHS, which is creating great inconvenience for the parents, for the students and for the teachers and the point I have made is that we can make it better.”
“If this government had followed our plan of continuing with the 200 new Senior High Schools that we were building, we will not have the current situation that we have in our free SHS plan”, he said.
However, at the launch of the governing New Patriotic Party’s 2020 manifesto in Cape Coast on Saturday, 22 August 2020, President Akufo-Addo said for a President who could not even run his watered-down version (Progressively Free Education) of the NPP’s Free SHS and Free TVET policies, Mr John Mahama cannot be trusted with his new conversion to the same programme he fought against.
President Akufo-Addo said the free SHS programme “was not easily done and, so, we intend to protect it from any so-called review, another word for cancellation”.
“We have no reason to believe the NDC presidential candidate’s newly-proclaimed conversion to Free SHS and Free TVET”, the President said.
The President explained: “For eight years, he and his party were loud in their assertions that they did not believe in Free SHS and free TVET. They did not like the idea, they rubbished it at every opportunity and they proclaimed that it would destroy Ghana’s education system.
“When they were in office, they had a hard time trying to run even their watered-down version of their so-called progressively free education.
“Then the former President said he will review it and now we hear him say: ‘It has come to stay’. Your Excellency, please try another one. Your credibility on this one is zero. Free SHS and Free TVET cannot be trusted in your hands”, the President noted.