- Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has suggested that persons who can afford to pay fees for the education of their wards be excluded from the free SHS programme
- According to him, persons with the means can continue to pay fees for their wards while government cater for the those who can't
Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Ken Ofori-Atta has hinted that government could soon introduce drastic steps to help keep up with the funding of the Free SHS Programme.
According to him, government must “begin to discriminate on the Free SHS programme”, saying parents who can afford to pay the fees of their wards should be made to pay.
The ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), led by President Akufo-Addo, rolled out its flagship Free SHS policy, which now allows students to enroll into public secondary schools without paying fees.
Government has been lauded for making education affordable to every Ghanaian, however, the foundations of the Free SHS programme have been shaky due to a lack of funds.
As a result, there have been many dialogues on how government could fund and sustain the programmme for the next couple of years.
Whiles some believe the programme was rushed, other firmly hold that it is still sustainable but should be made free for only the poor.
Speaking on the subject of funding, the Finance Minister said perhaps the latter school of thought may be the way forward in the long term.
He explained that there is no need giving free education to students whose parents can afford it, suggesting the Free SHS programme should cover only those who cannot afford to pay for the educational expenses of their wards.
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"On the issue of free education, it may be that there has to be changes about the way we are administering it. I can't take my child to Achimota School or Odorgono and leave him or her there and don't pay anything when I can pay for 10 people,” Mr. Ofori-Atta said on Citi TV's Point of View Programme on Monday.
“I think we need to have the data and begin to discriminate on the FREE SHS and allow those who can afford to pay. I think it is time to open up about the policy and take on board suggestions on how to improve it."
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