Kofi Asare, Executive Director of Africa Education Watch, proposes revising the Free Senior High School Policy.
He thinks the program only benefits public school JHS graduates, while private school JHS graduates pay for their SHS education.
He said that the change would still help the government achieve its aim of universal education.
A maximum of GH2,000.00 per boarding student under the free SHS scheme, according to Kofi Asare, is spent by the government on each student.
“The reform of the free SHS policy achieves the aim of all students obtaining SHS education. Students from private JHS should pay SHS fees while those from public JHS should not. ”Are we saying private JHS grads can’t afford the GH2,000.00 per year invested on a free SHS student?” he questioned Samuel Eshun on the Happy Morning Show
To generate more employment and chances for economic growth for SHS graduates who cannot continue postsecondary education, Kofi Asare estimates the government would save GH400 million with this policy adjustment. “The saved money may be utilized to safeguard the free SHS policy.”
The educationist clarified that the policy adjustment does not imply the government lacks funds to operate the free SHS program, but that the funds saved may be used to preserve the program’s result.
Despite the country’s limited resources, the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, believes the government’s flagship program, Free Senior High School, is draining the national budget.
The Asantehene raised a worry about the policy’s potential influence on the country’s unemployment rate as well as its financial implications.
According to Otumfuo, “considering the importance to the country, this must be one of the nation’s boldest policies”,
The Akufo-Addo administration has been urged to rethink its signature Free SHS program, which consumes resources and threatens quality, despite increased access, however, the government is firm.