Government’s flagship Free Senior School programme continues to receive heavy criticism from political actors who have cited many challenges they believe undermine the policy’s smooth implementation.
The latest to join critics is founder and leader of All Peoples Congress (APC), Hassan Ayariga.
Mr. Ayariga believes that the policy was implemented not with the genuine intent of addressing a social issues but a populist attempt by the NPP-led government to score political points.
According to Hassan Ayariga, the policy would have ‘mature’ for implementation after two years if it hadn’t been rushed and implemented within a year of assuming office.
“Even though we all want perfect Free Senior High School this is not perfect, I always call it uncook. The policy talked about when its starts but not when it ends. They should have delayed the process of implementing the policy for one or two years.” He said
Mr. Ayariga also argued that government should have continued with focusing resources on completing the 200 day schools commenced by the erstwhile Mahama-led administration.
Meanwhile Former President John Dramani Mahama has also criticized the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for implementing a broad Free Senior High School (SHS) policy in a haste which has resulted in the programme taking all government resources and stifling other developmental projects.
“The problem this government is facing and it is in their own interest, is that, Free Senior High School is absorbing all the fiscal space they have and so almost every money you have, you are having to put it into Free Senior High School. So you can’t pay District Assemblies Common Fund, you can’t pay NHIS (National Health Insurance Scheme), you can’t pay GETFund (Ghana Education Trust Fund), you can’t pay other salaries and things because all your money is going into Free Senior High School,” Mr Mahama said on Saturday, 24 February 2018, during the Unity Walk organised by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) at Somanya in the Eastern region.
According to him, individuals who cannot meet the financial requirements must be identified and the Free SHS programme designed to meet their needs and “we must adopt a system where those who can afford to pay are able to pay” to free up the burden on the countries resources to be allocated to critical sectors.