A former Deputy Education Minister, Samuel Okdujeto Ablakwa has appealed to the Akufo- Addo government to as a matter of urgency target vulnerable students as its flagship Free Senior High School (SHS) policy stars today.
He said government’s policy will not stand the test of time adding that it cannot find the money to continue supporting the programme which makes it unsustainable.
About 400,000 students are expected to benefit from the education policy that will exempt them from paying for tuition and other fees.
At the launch of the logo for the policy two weeks ago, the President said apart from free tuition there will be no fees collected for use of the library, computers, utilities etc.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration which won elections in 2008 rolled out what it called the progressively free Senior High School education in 2014.
However, the NPP’s free SHS promise gathered momentum again in the 2016 elections despite an attempt by the previous NDC government to tout the 2014 policy as a better option.
The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta subsequently announced that contrary to Mr. Osafo Maafo’s claims, the program will be funded with the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA).
He said it will cost government GH¢400 million to implement the programme for just the 2017/2018 academic year.
But speaking on Adom FM’s morning show “Dwaso Nsem” Monday, the Member of Parliament for North Tongu is convinced given the design of the programme, quality education will be compromised.
“What is clear to me is that government is going to struggle to find the money. For an adequate and proper implementation of Free SHS, you would need GH¢600 million a term. They should rather target the poor students with the GH¢400 million and not the rich. I think it’s not sustainable, especially under the current circumstances.
Mr. Okudzeto, also blamed current problems with the computerized school selection and placement system on government’s replacement of the competent core staff at the secretariat.