Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta has revealed that the implementation of the Free SHS policy has saved about 100,000 students who otherwise would not have had access to education due to financial constraints.
The Minister, addressing the 2017 IMF/World Bank annual meeting in Washington cited the introduction of the Free Senior High School (SHS) as one of the many significant policies the Ghanaian government has introduced towards improving economic growth.
“We launched the Free SHS system about a month ago, and that has been quite electric, almost 100,000 people who otherwise would not have gone to the SHS have now been able to come in and there is a real energized birth there,” he said.
Mr. Ofori-Atta said the country’s current education structure does not permit equity adding that technology was to be made priority as it is a great tool for enhancing social justice and equity.
“When we look at educational infrastructure right now and the pedagogy we are using, it is just very hard to believe that there will be equity in the shortest possible time. The issue of technology as an intervention is a key element for bringing social justice and equity into the system and I think it is a priority area,” he mentioned.
He further stated that the elementary and basic levels of education needed a boost and teachers as well needed to improve in every way possible to make education at that level and beyond, better.
“You will also realize that the kindergarten and the primary school system needs to be strengthened and teachers need to be much better than they are these days in terms of supervision,” he stated.
The Free SHS policy was launched on September 12 this year and has seen over 400,000 BECE candidates being enrolment into various Senior High Schools in the country.
As a result, parents are no longer required to pay tuition fees, admission fees, library fees, science centre fees, computer lab fees, examination fees and utility fees for their wards. It also comes with free boarding, free meals, and free textbooks.
The Policy also envelopes all technical, agricultural and vocational institutions at the SHS level.