All day Senior High School students will from next academic year benefit from government’s free Senior High School education policy.
A total of 365,000 are expected to benefit from the progressive free SHS policy, Deputy Education Minister Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa announced on the floor of Parliament, Monday.
According to him, the policy is a clear demonstration that the president was engaging in “wishful thinking” when he announced the policy in his state of the nation address to Parliament early in the year.
He said the policy, notorious for its political slant, has been “properly planned” and will be “properly implemented” in line with the country’s laws on progressively free education.
The free SHS became very popular in the 2008 and 2012 elections with the opposition promising to implement the policy if elected into power but the National Democratic Congress kicked against the policy, saying it was a lofty but unrealistic electoral promise and promising rather to improve on quality and access.
The president early in the year hinted his government was going to implement the policy of progressive free education as enshrined in the constitution of Ghana.
When he appeared before Parliament, the Deputy Education Minister said government is ready to implement the policy. He said the project will run at a cost of 42.7million cedis.
Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa later told Joy News, per studies conducted, day students are the most vulnerable and that is why government had to target them in the first year of implementation.
He said government is looking at several scenarios and as we progress into the 2016-2017 academic year, boarders would also benefit from the policy.
Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa also announced that government will complete the first batch of 50 schools by September 2015.
The government had promised to build 200 new schools – 50 each year for four years.
The Deputy Minister said for the first time in the country’s history six billion textbooks will be printed locally while, 500,000 students will be given free uniforms.
He said all these interventions have been made possible because of the increase in budgetary allocation from 5.8billion cedis in 2014 to 6.7billion cedis for 2015.
This means government’s “priorities are right,” he stressed.