Gov't Achievements

Free SHS must not be ‘free-for-all’ – Finance Minister

The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has suggested that that the Free Senior High School programme should not be targeted at everyone, but only persons with genuine need.
According to him, the Free SHS must not be made “free-for-all”, saying people with financial clout should be excluded from the policy.

Before the Free SHS was implemented, some groups like IMANI Africa and the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) called for the policy to be targeted.

However, government went ahead to make if free for all Ghanaian students who are qualified to enroll in second-cycle public schools.

The policy covers the full fees of students who attend public senior high schools, and recorded about 90,000 students on board when it kickstarted in September 2017.

But increased enrollment has posed a major challenge to government on how to sustain the implementation of the Free SHS.

Speaking to Citi TV, the Finance Minister said the policy must be implemented discriminatorily in order to ensure that only those with genuine need benefit.

He said persons who have the means must be made to pay for their children’s second-cycle education.

“I don’t think it [Free SHS] is something any of us can compromise on. It may be that there have to be changes in the way in which we are administering it,” Mr. Ofori-Atta said.

“I can’t take my child to Achimota or Odorgonno and then leave him or her and drive away and Ken Ofori-Atta not pay anything while I can pay for 10 people. … You need to get the data to then be discriminatory in how and who pays and who doesn’t pay,” he added.

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