The Education Minister, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, has dismissed claims that the fee-free senior high school (SHS) policy has become a veritable threat to private schools, saying, that is not supported by the facts on the ground.
The reality was that some of these schools had been turning away prospective students due to over-subscription.
“We have met managers and proprietors of private schools and explained issues to them and a lot of people go there because they offer value for money”, the Minister added.
He was speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the sidelines of Eighth Ghana Entrepreneur and Corporate Executive Awards in Accra, where he received the “Best Minister of the Year Award”.
This was in recognition of his vital role in the implementation of the free SHS policy.
The event was organized by the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Ghana to acknowledge the contribution of entrepreneurs, business executives and public office holders to the nation’s development.
Dr. Opoku Prempeh said the policy had brought a lot of competition in the education sector, and said it was difficult to rationalize why anybody would want to shy away from competition.
Although the private schools had been charging much higher tuition fees compared with the public schools, parents and guardians had continued to patronize their services.
He underlined the government determination to ensure judicious and prudent application of the nation’s financial resources to sustain the policy.
Ghana, he noted, was not so broken that it could not fund the free-SHS education.
He gave the assurance that additional infrastructure would be constructed so that there would be space for the second batch of free SHS students.
Commenting on the award, Dr. Opoku Prempeh said, he felt humbled and that it would only inspire him to work even harder.