Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, the former deputy Minister of Education under the previous NDC government has stated that the new the Akufo-Addo led administration is able fulfill their free Senior High School promise within a short period of time after taking office, thanks to strategic investments he inherited from its predecessor.
Hon. Okudzeto Ablakwa noted in an interview on Radio Gold that former President Mahama, laid a solid foundation in the educational sector by expanding access to Senior High School.
“President Mahama laid a very solid foundation and that is why it is possible for President Akufo-Addo to start the implementation of free SHS this academic year,” he said.
Last Saturday, President Akufo-Addo reassured Ghanaians that his government will fund the cost of public Senior High Schools for all those who qualify for entry from the 2017/2018 academic year onwards.
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Mr. Ablakwa said during the tenure of the NDC, they could have easily decided to make education in second cycle schools free but explained that, "Looking at the statistics that we had at the time, it wouldn’t have been feasible in terms of access because there weren’t enough SHS . . . There was acute shortage of secondary schools and it could have affected quality of education.”
According to him, the decision by the NPP administration to make SHS free “isn’t a departure from the NDC’s own programme of action. If you look at the NDC’s model, it was progressively free which we were implementing. It was a policy taken from the 1992 constitution.”
“You would notice that when President Mahama was in power, he decided to do first things first. It wouldn’t be possible to implement a policy that is well thought-out without expanding access . . . The framers of the constitution knew the challenges confronting the second cycle institutions, that is why the provision of the progressively free senior high secondary school was made,” Hon. Ablakwa added.