The government is set to introduce the Free Senior High School (SHS) Bill to Parliament to formalize the policy and ensure its long-term sustainability.

This initiative comes amid concerns about the program’s potential cancellation by future administrations and the various challenges it currently faces.

Educational stakeholders, including EduWatch, have proposed that parents who choose boarding facilities should cover the associated costs.

EduWatch has also recommended that the policy be targeted specifically at children from low-income households, using data from the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme to identify eligible families.

Speaking at a Leaders’ Media Briefing on Tuesday, June 11, the Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, highlighted the government’s intention to enhance the policy’s effectiveness and sustainability, in line with the aspirations detailed in Chapter 5 of the Constitution.

He noted that, while these constitutional provisions are not legally binding, the government aims to make them enforceable through legislation.

“I can confirm that the Education Minister will soon present the Free SHS Bill to Parliament. Chapter 5 of the Constitution outlines certain aspirational goals. Although these are not justiciable, by implementing them as a government policy, we can take steps to make them legally enforceable,” he explained.

“In other words, there are provisions in the constitution that you cannot enforce, you cannot claim the right to those provisions. The fact that they are there does not mean that you can apply to the court to enforce those rights, they are aspirational,” Afenyo-Markin added.