More than 400,000 BECE candidates sat for the exams. The results came and according to WAEC, about 80% of the candidates have passed to be enrolled in the various SHS. The NPP without proper consultation has introduced/implemented/kick started their FREE SHS policy with 2017/18 academic year.
On chapter 9 page 107 of the NPP 2016 manifesto, they clearly stated and emphasized on redefining the basic education to provide Free education to ‘ALL’ Ghanaians. The current ordeal parents are going through signifies that in the implementation of their so called free SHS, there is a quota system where almost half of the population who sat for the exams would be denied access to SHS.
The implementation of this policy has exposed the NPP government. Continuing students in form/SHS 2&3 are not part of the policy. They made it clear to capture these students in the free SHS policy in their manifesto. This implies that if your child is in form 2&3, you have to pay a huge sum as school fees. This is pure robbery by the government. They are robbing peter to pay Paul.
On the contrary,NDC has stated that they are NOT against the free shs policy but they are concern about Accessibility, Sustainability, Quality and Equity. These are the areas NDC has issues with.The NDC has long introduced “Progressively Free SHS” somewhere in 2014. Under this initiative, additional 123 new SHS (mahama schools) were added to the existing ones, 1000s of high density students mattresses and metallic beds were distributed to all SHS in Ghana without Discrimination, ICT facilities were provided, ICT materials like computer, etc were also distributed to the all schools from basics to SHS. These and many more interventions were rolled out as NDC readiness of making SHS progressively free.
Sadly, the media is not perturbed about the phenomenon. The hustles parents are facing. They are interested in touting the few who have access than the majority out there who have been denied. The affected kids may be a child of the poor farmer in rural areas who has been deceived by the NPP government to provide free education to their children. Others have to been burdened with rents since their wards has been placed to areas they have no relatives.
As we speak, it is not clear from the government how many years they are enrolling the program. Also the source of funding to back the policy in the next academic years.The government in his actions are ridiculing the intelligence of Ghanaians.
The NDC is committed in ensuring equity for all Ghanaians devoid of discrimination. We are therefore calling on the government to be transparent in his endeavors concerning the free SHS implementation.
Source: Nana Ameyaw