A concerned citizen identified as Mr Akoto Eben has asked the Akufo-Addo led government what is preventing them from including private schools to the Free Senior High School programme if private hospitals in the country are not exempted from the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
His concerns follow the comment of the Minority leader in Ghanaian Parliament, Hon. Osei-Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu that it is unconstitutional for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to include private Senior High schools in the country to the Free Senior High School (Free SHS) programme.
The running mate for the NDC flag bearer at the party’s manifesto launch announced the next John Mahama administration will include private schools in the Free SHS programme should NDC win the upcoming polls.
But, the Suame MP in an interview with the Kumasi-based Angel 96.1 FM monitored by Georgeweb.org said “I said to myself when I heard their promise that this man should be careful about some of the things he says”
He quoted Article 25 Clause 2 of the 1992 Constitution which states that “Every person shall have the right, at his own expense, to establish and maintain a private school or schools at all levels and of such categories and in accordance with such conditions as may be provided by law.”
According to the politician, an individual who has the resources to establish a private school must do so at their own cost “with no financial support from the central government”.
Hon. Osei-Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu added that “So if you say you will fund private schools with government money, it offends the constitution; the Article 25 is an entrenched provision, so if you want to change it, you must conduct a referendum according to the constitution”
However, Mr Akoto Eben is also of the view that If private hospitals are not exempted from the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) policy then what is preventing the Nana Akufo-Addo administration from including private schools to the Free Senior High School policy.
“If private hospitals can enjoy NHIS what prevent private schools from enjoying Free SHS programme?”, he asked.
According to him, private schools in the country are just like private hospitals, they all deserve an equal share of the national cake, so far as they are all private institutions it makes no difference.