General News of Sunday, 30 July 2017
Former Deputy Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Sampson Ahi says the government may intentionally fail students who have written this year’s Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), to ensure that its budget for running the Free Senior High School policy is not over spent.
The Minister of Education Minister Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh outlining the plan for the much-trumpeted flagship programme that will be rolled out in September 2017 at a media encounter last week, emphasized that only students who pass their BECE will enjoy the Free SHS policy.
He disclosed that the Free SHS programme which will also cover agricultural, vocational and technical institutions at the high school level programme will cost over Gh¢400 million per academic year, and can be enjoyed by only Ghanaians.
He emphasized that the Akufo Addo government is fully funding the entire programme which means “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.
But speaking to Agoo TV and Kasapa FM, Hon. Sampson Ahi who’s Member of Parliament for Bodi in the Western Region said he has strong conviction that the Akufo Addo led-government may deviously make the marking scheme very high in order to ensure that not more than the students budgeted for will pass the exams.
“The government has made it clear that its only students who pass the BECE who will get admission into the various SHS to enable them to enjoy the Free SHS programme. If the results come and a student fails, he/she doesn’t get to enjoy the programme, so government may deliberately fail the students so that if 300 students have been budgeted for, only 300 will pass. If 300 is budgeted and 450 passes the exams, government will not have funds to cater for the additional 150 who pass. The NPP government must be cautioned not to do any such devious act which will negatively impact on the education of our young students who are our future leaders.”
“The NPP in opposition told us that when the come to power, the BECE will not be the basis for a Junior High School student to get admission into the Senior High School, so why have they made a u-turn and are now telling us that when a student doesn’t pass the BECE he/she can’t enjoy Free SHS education.