Mr Kofi Asare, the Executive Director of Africa Education Watch (EduWatch) has called on the central government to exempt private Junior High School students (JHS) from Free Senior High School policy to stabilize the economy.
In an interview with Happy FM monitored by AcademicWeek, the EduWatch Director said the free school policy should be free for only BECE candidates from the public schools while those from the private sector pay.
He indicated the GH₵2,000.00 spend annually by the government on each boarding student under the Free SHS is no big deal for parents of students from private Junior High Schools, hence they should be made to pay.
“We achieve the goal of all students receiving education at the Senior High School level with the revision of the free SHS. Students who graduated from private JHS should pay fees whilst those from gov’t JHS shouldn’t pay
Are we saying graduates from private JHSs cannot pay the GH₵2,000.00 per year spent on an individual under free SHS?” the Education think tank Director asked the host of Happy FM’s morning show, Samuel Eshun.
The flagship Free SHS initiative, Asare said when reviewed would save the government about GH₵400 million, an amount he believes can be used to create more jobs and create opportunities for economic development.
“This amount saved can be used to protect the outcome of the Free Senior High School (Free SHS) policy for economic development for SHS graduates who cannot pursue tertiary education,” Kofi Asare told Happy FM.
Meanwhile, Yaw Opoku Mensah, the deputy spokesman for the Ministry of Education has said the government has reviewed the Free second cycle school policy by including public TVET students in the program.
In a presentation at T. I. Ahmadiyya Secondary School at a program dubbed ICT Week celebration, he said “the government has never said anywhere of a possible review of the Free SHS program due to economic constraints.”
Yaw at the ICT Week celebration under the theme; “the need to leave a positive digital footprint on the internet” said the inclusion of Technical and Vocational Education and Training to Free SHS is to enable more students to benefit.