Africa Education Watch (Eduwatch), a prominent educational policy think tank, has raised concerns about the proposed government’s Free Senior High School (SHS) Bill.

They claim it is being positioned more as a political legacy project than a sustainable educational reform.

The bill, which will soon be presented to Parliament, aims to regulate the policy and ensure its sustainability.

This policy, a cornerstone of the Akufo-Addo administration, seeks to remove financial barriers to secondary education by covering fees, textbooks, boarding, and meals.

While the initiative has been praised for increasing access to education, particularly for girls, Eduwatch argued that the bill’s timing and the government’s approach suggest a focus on political gains rather than long-term educational benefits.

In an interview on Adom FM’s mornig show Dwaso Nsem, Wednesday, Eduwatch’s Executive Director, Kofi Asare, stated that the Free SHS policy was already covered under the Pre-Tertiary Education Act.

He questioned the necessity of a new law and noted that the bill was the least of the policy’s challenges requiring urgent attention.

“I am a bit lost because in December 2020 Parliament passed a law called the Pre Tertiary Education Law which is Act 10(49). This law which was assented on 29th December 2020 has free SHS captured under section 3 which says that ‘Secondary education in its different forms including TVET shall be free and accessible to all eligible candidates. So this provision in the pre-tertiary education law is to give legal effect, is to give binding effect.”

“…I think that perhaps the only reason is, it is a legacy reason. It looks more political legacy kind of style. But in reality, if you ask me the top 10 challenges or problems that require urgent attention on the Free SHS policy, the law would not be in the [space] of 10,” he stated.

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