HomeNewsEducationNDC is not opposed to Free SHS bill – Minority Leader

NDC is not opposed to Free SHS bill – Minority Leader

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The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Minority in Parliament has dismissed claims that, they are opposed to the government’s proposed Free Senior High School (SHS) bill.

Speaking at a Leaders’ Media Briefing on Tuesday, June 11, the Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, announced that the government will introduce the Free Senior High School (SHS) Bill to Parliament to formalize the policy and ensure its long-term sustainability.

In a post on X, the Minority Leader, Cassiel Ato Forson clarified that no such bill exists before Parliament at this time, and as such, the NDC cannot be opposing a bill that they have not even seen.

He emphasized the pivotal role the NDC has played in the establishment and evolution of the Free SHS initiative.

Dr. Forson also highlighted that the NDC began the practical implementation of the Free SHS program in 2015, initially targeting day students in public Senior High Schools.

“There is currently no such bill before Parliament. We cannot oppose a bill that we have not seen. For the records, it was the NDC that birthed the 1992 Constitution which provided the legal framework for the introduction of Free Secondary Education in Ghana,” the Minority Leader stated.

“Also, it was the NDC that commenced the implementation of the Free SHS program in the year 2015 for all day students in public senior high schools, totaling over 320,000, with a clear plan to expand coverage to include 120,000 boarding students by 2017,” he added.

Ato Forson further explained that the NDC’s current stance on the Free SHS program is not one of opposition but rather of constructive improvement.

Earlier, the NDC flagbearer, John Mahama, announced a review of the Free SHS policy within the first 100 days of taking office if elected president in the 2024 general elections.

He accused the NPP of double standards in the ongoing discourse surrounding the review of the Free SHS policy.

“Within the first 100 days in government, we will convene a stakeholder summit that brings together educationists, experts, teachers, parents, students, and opinion leaders to deliberate on how to improve the implementation of the Free SHS system and also improve the quality of our basic education,” Mr. Mahama stated.

However, Ato Forson mentioned that the NDC is ready to support any legislative efforts that aim to fortify the Free SHS program.

“The position of the NDC on the Free SHS program as publicly communicated by our flag-bearer and leader is to improve the implementation of the programme and address the challenges bedeviling it through a consultative approach. Thus, the NDC will support any legislation or effort aimed at making the Free SHS programme better and sustainable,” he said.

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