Following speculations that the Free SHS programme will be reviewed to meet the conditionalities of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) $3 billion grant to the country, an official of the Ministry of Education says the policy will not be reviewed.
Speaking in a discussion monitored by AcademicWeek.com, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) for the Ministry, Kwasi Kwarteng said the government has no intention to review the flagship programme amid the Monetary Fund’s deal.
“On the subject of whether the Free SHS is going to be reviewed or not, such decisions are policy decisions made by either the President or Education Minister, the briefing I have does not point that we are going to have a review,” he said.
The Ministry of Education spokesperson’s clarification comes after the Dean of Business School of the University of Cape Coast, Professor John Gatsi following a comment by the International Fund said the SHS policy will be reviewed.
In an interview monitored by AcademicWeek, Prof Gatsi said amid conditionalities of the $3 billion grant to the country, the flagship Free SHS programme introduced in 2017 would be reviewed and made more targeted.
“Indeed, they have been told what to do about the free SHS, to review it and to make it meet the needs of the people, that will be done, definitely, there will be a review of the programme to make it more efficient and more accessible to all the people of Ghana,” he said.
John Gatsi’s prediction comes after the IMF In a report released ahead of the approval of the country’s $3 billion bailout said “The flagship Free Senior High School, which covers the full cost of secondary education, has helped increase enrolment but is poorly targeted.”
Despite spending almost 4 per cent of Gross domestic product (GDP) on education with good results in terms of student enrolment, the United States-based financial agency said the country’s learning outcomes are poor.
The Free Senior High School (Free SHS) education policy is a government initiative introduced in 2017 September by President Nana Akufo-Addo to enable qualified BECE students to continue their secondary education at no cost.
The policy’s core themes of access, equity and equality fulfil the United Nations modified Sustainable Development Goals, where member countries amalgamate those themes in their educational systems to certify adequate learning experiences for students.