Education Minister, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh has revealed that he has been having sleepless nights since the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo declared that the free Senior High School policy would take off in September 2017.
The President speaking at the 60th Anniversary celebration of the Okuapeman School in the Eastern Region last February announced the free SHS which was a major campaign promise of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in 2008, 2012 and 2016 elections would kick off at the start of the 2017/2018 academic year.
Spelling out the details of policy, “so that no one in Ghana is left in any doubts”, President Akufo-Addo explained that “by free SHS, we mean that, in addition to tuition which is already free, there will be no admission fees, no library fees, no science centre fees, no computer lab fees, no examination fees, no utility fees; there will be free textbooks, free boarding and free meals, and day students will get a meal at school for free.”
The President added further that “Free SHS will also cover agricultural, vocational and technical institutions at the high school level. I also want to state clearly again that we have a well-thought out plan that involves the building of new public Senior High Schools and cluster public Senior High Schools”.
The Education Minister speaking on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen Programme on Tuesday confessed that he has had sleepless nights since the announcement.
The reason, he said is that “I have been working around to get the fine details worked out and also get the policy successfully rolled out.”
“I have been having sleepless nights because of the free SHS policy and we would ensure that it works in the other seven regions of the country…,” he said.
Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh further said that he has failed to comprehend why some persons notably sympathisers of the NDC are speaking against the policy when the former President, John Mahama is a beneficiary of the free SHS policy.
“Free SHS has given Ghanaians two Presidents, Dr Hilla Limann and President Mahama who said he attended school in the north just to take advantage of free SHS…if President Mahama was qualified for free SHS, why not the son of a certain Ama Vi…,” he quizzed.