Needy Students Must Be Free SHS Beneficiaries – Coalition

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The Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition has commended the government for its decision to implement its much-talked-about campaign promise of free Senior High School education (SHS), but says the policy must target students who really need financial assistance.

It said rolling out the project broadly to cover all SHS students will be practically impossible.

The Coalition argued that, there is a huge funding deficit per government’s budget, and implementing the policy to cover every student may result in more dire consequences on the country’s coffers.

The convener of the Coalition, Bright Appiah, said giving a wide coverage scope to the policy would bring about challenges in the face of the infrastructural deficit in the various schools.

“The Coalition thinks that this is a very bold and laudable step that we are taking, and then it is also a constitutional mandate and therefore the policy direction of the state is giving life to the constitutional provision which we think that it is something that we all need to applaud and then also we see how best we can support government to deliver on this mandate,” he said.

“However there are issues that need to be dealt with. One of the issues that we think that government should clearly look at is the issue of infrastructure. Now that right from kindergarten to SHS is going to be free and compulsory, it means that we have opened the floodgates and therefore there is going to be an increase in the number of people who will have access to Secondary, Technical, vocational and agricultural education in the country,” he added.

Mr. Appiah however said the government must engage all relevant stakeholders to ensure that the policy achieves the desired results.

President Akufo-Addo while delivering a speech at the 60th Anniversary celebration of Okuapeman School in the Eastern Region, announced that his government will implement the free SHS policy from September 2017.

According to him, the implementation of the policy will cover the full fees of students who attend public Senior High Schools in the country as a way of ensuring that Ghanaians who qualify for SHS are not burdened with financial difficulties.

The 2017 budget statement and economic statement, delivered by Ghana’s Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, also announced a budgetary allocation of $400 million for the implementation of the policy this year.

By: Jonas Nyabor/citifmonline.com/Ghana
Follow @jnyabor

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