A leading member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko has said that the Free Senior High School (SHS) programme will remain free for all despite suggestions that the policy should target the poor and vulnerable.
In a tweet, Mr Otchere-Darko said that even though the debate over the free SHS is healthy the policy will remain free as it started.
“NPP was elected on a platform of free SHS for all and that’s what it is and will be. The debate over means testing will, nevertheless, continue and should continue. Healthy.”
His comments come after the Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta called for the policy to be targeted at the poor and vulnerable.
“The issue of free education, I don’t think it’s something that any of us can compromise on…It may be that there have to be changes in the way which we are administering it,” Mr Ofori-Atta said Monday in an interview on Citi FM.
“I can’t take my child to Achimota or Ordogonnor and then leave him or her and drive away and Ken Ofori-Atta not pay anything while I can pay for 10 people. You need to be able to get the data to then be discriminatory in how and who pays and who doesn’t pay.”
“You would rather make a mistake if it is a mistake to get everybody in the system for the nation to then begin to have a conversation and say okay, this is good for us because we want our human capital to a certain level but maybe let’s begin to adjust it this way. But, I think the issue of opening up and people coming to reality about maybe we could do things a certain way is not a bad thing for a nation’s growth.”
He is not the first to make such an argument. Policy think tank, IMANI Africa and the National Association of Graduate Teachers, NAGRAT have made similar calls in time past.