The Akufo-Addo-led government must define the scope of the Free Senior High School policy to avert confusion between parents and headmasters of the various SHSs in the country, Peter Partey, Director of Research at the Institute for Education Studies, has said.
According to him, although the government has declared SHS free beginning September this year, there may other costs that parents would have to take, for which reason high school may not be free in the real sense of the word.
President Nana Akufo-Addo on Saturday February 11 announced that the free Senior High School (SHS) programme promised by the New Patriotic Party (NPP), prior to the December 7 elections, will commence September this year.
Mr Akufo-Addo, who was the Special Guest of Honour at the 60th anniversary celebration of Okuapeman School, indicated in his speech that “government will fund the cost of public senior high schools for all those who qualify for entry from September this year”.
He explained: “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.”
The president further indicated that the policy would also cover agricultural, vocational, and technical institutions at the high school level.
But speaking in an interview with host Chief Jerry Forson on Ghana Yensom on Accra100.5FM on Monday February 13, Mr Partey said: “When it comes to the GES-approved fees, the parents will have to pay for school uniforms, buckets, cutlasses, and these translate into almost GHS500. The parents pay for these apart from the actual fees, and so the government must really define what goes into the Free SHS.
“It is a good idea that we have Free SHS but we need to make the exercise transparent enough to prevent problems for the headmasters.”