Free SHS Is Here But Let Us Be Cautiously Optimistic

It is safe to conjecture that, the free Senior High School (SHS) policy the government has rolled out may not succeed.

This should be understood not to mean, those saying that, do not mean well for the teeming students and beneficiary parents of this country.

If the past, it is said, is to guide our actions today and into the future, the problems schools in the three northern regions of this country have been experiencing every term in the last 15 years or so, must inform the policy initiators, to take a second look at the policy.

Last Friday, Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS), ended their annual conference in the Volta regional capital, Ho. Reports from that conference, was clear that, the implementers of the free SHS policy, who were the headmasters, were not involved in the drafting and the rolling out of the policy.

There are many instances of countries where the policy was rolled out with all the good intentions, but yet was not sustainable, because the money involved kept increasing every year, with increases in enrollment.

Free SHS, is a laudable idea, but what mechanisms are we putting in place to ensure that, Ghana, does not run into crisis, five years from today.

Educating the youth of this country is not and must not be business as usual—politics. We cannot sacrifice their future and the future of this country on the altar of politics.

We wish to advise the government, not to discount and treat flippantly, caution coming from the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) and some civil society organizations, as well as CHASS, in the implementation of the free SHS policy.

Free education, has been with us since independence, the erstwhile NDC government, started a progressive policy aimed at providing free SHS to all students entering SHS, but the term was curtailed when they lost the election.

It will be wise and prudent for the government to engage them, so that at the end of the day, the policy will benefit all Ghanaian students today and in the future.

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