Public Relation Officer of the Ministry of Education Vincent Ekow Assifuah says government's Free SHS policy will contribute to the reduction of crime in our communities.
According to the 2018 annual report of the Ghana Prisons Service, basic school levers top the list of prisoners in Ghana.
This is worrying as it indicates that many of these basic school leavers do not continue with their education for several reasons with many citing financial difficulties as the stumbling block.
Mr. Assifuah speaking to Prime News believes that even though Free SHS was not designed to fight crime, there is a high tendency that literates will not engage in social vices and this policy will allow basic school leavers to further their education and not to remain idle which may lead them to engage in criminal activities.
"The key part of the Free SHS is to reduce illiteracy, so students who initially would end their career at Junior High school level will now do so at the Senior High school level. If someone is educated, there is a low propensity for that person to engage in petty stealing, armed robbery or any other social vice. The relevance of the Free SHS policy is underscored in that regard and so even though the government did not necessarily implement the Free SHS because they wanted to reduce crime, their idea encompasses a number of reasons for the policy"
A report from the Ghana Prison Service saw basic school leavers topping the chart of persons in Ghana's prison facilities.
The report shows that out of the 9,034 persons who were convicted last year, a whopping 5,888 had only completed basic education.
One thousand four hundred and twenty-seven (1,427) convicts had attained secondary or post-basic education, 1,495 convicts had no formal education while 224 had tertiary education.
On the admission of foreigners, the report said 445 African have been jailed in Ghanaian prisons with Nigeria recording the highest figure of 156.
There are 112 Togolese in Ghana’s prisons, 59 are Burkinabe and 49 Nigeriens.
About Free SHS
The Free SHS policy is a Government of Ghana initiative introduced by the President Nana Akuffo-Addo administration in September 2017. The policy had been a major campaign policy prior to the election of President Akuffo-Addo in 2016.