Member of Parliament for Adaklu, Kwame Agbodza, has chastised the NPP government for failing to consult experts and stakeholders within the education sector before implementing the free senior high school policy.
In his view, government did not properly plan the much-touted programme before it was rolled out, something that he said has raised the issue of sustainability.
“When you want to do something like a fundamental change to education and health, you need to subject this to some understanding of the people who matter,” the MP said on TV3 New Day on Monday.
“When we were trying to change from the middle school to JSS, there were committees setup to review all these things, but for the first time, a government came and said Free SHS, and without any consultation with anybody, they sat at the NPP headquarters, decided Free SHS and came and tried to implement it,” Mr. Agbodza claimed.
He said the NPP has nothing to lose if they admit that they erred in planning and executing the programme, and go back to the drawing board to ensure that the programme is well planned and executed.
According to him, the cost of running the Free SHS policy is high, hence it will be difficult to sustain it.
“There is nothing wrong if you are a politician and you tell the truth, okay? We promised this, however starting, we think going forward it will not work. We are calling on stakeholders; let’s sit down, what is the best way to take this forward?” he suggested.
He pointed out that there are parents who took their wards to expensive private basic schools but are compelled to say they can’t pay because of the Free SHS programme.
In his view, Free SHS should be given as scholarship to individuals who cannot actually afford to pay for tuition.
Meanwhile the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II at the weekend called for adequate provision for infrastructure at various Universities to cater for students of the Free SHS programme.
Government in its planning of free SHS made no provision for the beneficiaries in the tertiary institutions.
Earlier this year, government stated that an amount of GH₵453 million of Ghana’s oil revenue will be used to fund the Free SHS programme.
By Edwin Arthur| 3news.com| Ghana