Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Member of Parliament for North Tongu and former Deputy Minister of Education, has extolled the Akufo-Addo-led government for the implementation of the Free Senior High School programme.
According to him, the programme is a tough initiative, for which reason the government must be commended.
The Free SHS programme, which is the government’s flagship policy started on Monday, 11 September as first-year students who were successfully placed in various SHSs reported to officially register.
Speaking on Accra-based Joy FM prior to the launch of the programme at the West African Secondary School (WASS) in Accra on Tuesday, 12 September 2017, Mr Ablakwa said: “This Free SHS thing is a tough job, but I commend the government for a good job done so far. The Deputy Minister of Education [Dr Osei Adutwum] has been efficient. He's done a great job in executing the Free SHS policy.”
He further dispelled assertions that the Minority in Parliament are opposed to the programme although they have criticised its sustainability.
“The Minority is not opposed to Free SHS. We aren't following the tradition of opposing Majority's decisions. We haven't said the Free SHS should be extended to students in private schools, I want to clear the air,” he stated.
The North Tongu MP however quizzed: "If this government manages to find GHS400 million, why not include students in form 2 and 3? We said 'progressively free' because we were going to eventually cover all the students."
Meanwhile, the Free SHS was officially launched in Accra on Tuesday, 12 September. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said among other things that the policy will not fail.
“As is with all human endeavours, we will certainly face challenges in the implementation of this policy of Free SHS despite our best preparation and efforts. We may falter but by the grace of the almighty God, we shall not fall for we will be ready in all humility to accept inputs and criticisms aimed at improving the policy,” he stated.
He added: “The policy is not about the NPP or the NDC. The beneficiaries will not only be NPP members or sympathisers. They will be Ghanaians from all walks of life and from all political persuasions. This is about Ghana and how best to build a progressive and prosperous nation for this and future generations. Its constitutionality is not in doubt. All Ghanaians should support the policy to ensure its success.”