A petitioned by the Conference of Heads of Assisted Senior High Schools (CHASS) for the Akufo-Addo administration to review Free SHS policy and allow parents to support the programme financially has been rejected.
The President of the CHASS, Alhaji Yakub Abubakar earlier at the 58th annual Conference of CHASS in Cape Coast made a call for the Government of Ghana to consider reviewing the policy after 3 years of implementation.
Alhaji Yakub Abubakar following suggestions and negative comments about the policy noted the programme needs to be reviewed to address challenges confronting the Free SHS in other for it to produce a fruitful outcome.
The Executive Director of the Africa Education Watch, Mr Kofi Asare in line with the CHASS President on social media made a similar request for the PTA’s to support programme and free some resources to the basic level.
“One cannot ‘fully’ finance secondary without under-financing basic, as the case is in Ghana today. So please, GoG, allow PTAs to support, so you can free some resources to basic”, he said in a social media post sighted by Georgeweb.org.
According to him, education is not only a collective responsibility involving parents, communities, teachers and government but also one that is economic in principle, hence the need for a review of the Free SHS policy.
However, the Deputy Education Minister in an interview with the Daily graphic newspaper said such a review of the policy will negatively influence the purpose of the implementation of the Free SHS programme.
“To say that the government should somehow allow you [CHASS] to levy your own fees against parents in an era of free senior high school is what I don’t understand. I really don’t understand the point in saying that senior high school is free, the government has absorbed fees”
“The government is even paying development levies, which is even supposed to be used for school construction and other infrastructure development that the school wants to undertake and yet we are still asking the government to allow us to levy the students, no!”, he told the newspaper
Dr Yaw Adutwum responding to CHASS call said “if you have a group of parents, or parents of any school, who are saying that, can we support our school, yes, of course, they can support their school, they can voluntarily donate to support their school in the same way that old students do”
The Bosometwe Member of Parliament furthered “that will defeat the purpose of free senior high school, which has lessened the burden of parents, adding that is not the plan Nana Akufo-Addo government”