National Organizer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Kofi Adams has told Okay FM that parents are worrying him with calls for money to pay for hostels for their children who were lucky to gain admission but were denied boarding house.According to him, inasmuch as the Free SHS policy is good, the structures are giving parents headaches and dissatisfaction as their wards are stranded due to the limited boarding facilities available in the various Senior High Schools.
Speaking on Okay FM’s 'Ade Akye Abia' Morning Show, Kofi Adams disclosed that parents are rather calling him and others to lament the challenges they are facing with regard to getting accommodation for their children since the boarding houses are full despite the fact that they applied for boarding facilities.
“Parents are worrying us with calls here and there, and between yesterday and today, they have not had stable minds about their children’s challenges they are facing in schools. When parents encounter problems then they call us that their wards applied for boarding house but they have been classified as day students; they don’t know what to do. They call to say they don’t have money to pay Ghc 700 for hostel facility . . . so we should send them mobile money to pay for the hostel facility,” he narrated to host of 'Ade Akye Abia', Kwame Nkrumah 'Tikese'.
According to him some parents are also saying they can’t leave their wards who are only 14 years in hostels without any proper care.
". . We don’t know what to do to help them in this regard . . . this is the challenge with this Free SHS policy,” he stressed.
He added that the parents’ grievances with the Free SHS policy has to do with the fact that the policy does not allow parents to send their children to any other school of their choice in a situation where the students don’t get boarding facilities unless the parents are ready to pay for the school fees in the new school.
“The hostel facility is taking Ghc 700 and the alternative is taking Ghc 530 but the parents were not prepared for such costs as the boarding facility only takes 100 students . . . the problem is, government says that any parent who fails to send their children to the selected schools but take them to another will bear the cost,” he stated.
He however was of the opinion that government could have allowed parents to take their children to any day school near them if they don’t get boarding house and still cover them in the Free SHS policy.
He therefore called on the Ministry of Education, the Ghana Education Service and the body responsible for the Free SHS policy to come out to address this challenge confronting parents.