Prime News Ghana

IMANI sees a huge challenge for 'Free SHS'

By Jeffrey Owusu-Mensah
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The Head of Economics at IMANI, Patrick Stephenson has warned that Ghana's economic troubles will pose some challenges to government’s plan to implement a Free Senior High School policy from September.

President Nana Akufo-Addo on Saturday disclosed that the much talked about 'Free SHS' programme will be implemented by the start of the next academic year in September.

Speaking on Saturday as the Special Guest of Honour at the 60th Anniversary Celebration of Okuapeman School at Akropong Akuapem in the Eastern Region, he announced that government "will fund the cost of public Senior High Schools for all those who qualify for entry from September this year".

“By free SHS, we mean that, in addition to tuition which is already free, there will be no admission fees, no library fees, no science centre fees, no computer lab fees, no examination fees, no utility fees; there will be free textbooks, free boarding and free meals, and day students will get a meal at school for free,”  he stated.

But according to Mr Stephenson, since the government was yet to disclose the source of funding for the implementation of the programme he foresees a likely failure for the programme because and without a comprehensive funding mechanism the programme cannot be sustained.

“The way we had talked about the whole free senior higher education and how it’s going to be implemented, the idea itself may not be a problem, but how we should treat it within the structure of the educational system as we speak today so that the targeted persons get to benefit,” he told Accra-based Citi FM.

“I think that’s been the problem to the extent that we have not seen sufficient clarity from the current government, is making it very difficult to appreciate what the intended objectives are.”