The Minister of Information, Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid has asked the public to disregard the recent assertion by the Finance Minister, Mr. Ken Ofori Atta that those who can afford school fees for their wards under the Free Senior High School (SHS) policy should be allowed to do so.
Dr. Hamid who appeared ‘irritated’ when a journalist asked a question about the Finance Minister`s comments on the policy at a press briefing in Tamale on Tuesday evening stated that “, the Finance Minister has no locus to talk about educational issues and his opinion on the matter is dead and must be ignored.”
Mr. Ken Ofori Atta in a television interview on Citi TV last week suggested that parents who can afford should to pay their wards school fees should be allowed to do so that government alone does not bear the cost.
“True, it may be that there have to be changes in the way we are administering it. I can’t take my child to Achimota or Odorgorno and leave him or her there and drive away and not pay for anything while I can pay for ten people,” Mr Ofori Atta said.
Though, that appeared to be his opinion on the policy, he came under several criticisms after he made the statement as some members of the opposition parties and a cross section of the public have questioned the sustainability of the policy.
Briefing Journalists in Tamale on Tuesday on the Double Track System which is expected to be implemented in selected Senior High Schools from September this year, the Information Minister said a lot of research and consultation were being undertaken on the viability and feasibility of the policy before it was implemented.
“The person whose vision we are driving is the vision of the president of the Republic of Ghana and the president of the Republic of Ghana’s vision is that every child who goes to secondary should go the secondary for free,” he added.
The Deputy Education Minister, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum who took the journalists through the Double Track System said the concept was an innovative strategy to ensure that, any child was not left out of education.
“The Double Track system is a stop-gap measure for the government to be able to build more infrastructure to accommodate the ever-growing student population in school,” he said.