General News of Friday, 4 August 2017
A Communications team member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has downplayed claims by certain government communicators that the party is against the implementation of the free Senior High School (SHS) programme.
Chief Biney speaking on Adom TV’s Badwam Friday said the NDC as a social democratic party will always welcome social intervention programmes that would help improve the life of the ordinary Ghanaian and hence there would be no way that the party will kick against the free SHS programme.
“We wanted to implement a progressive free education but they said no…we are waiting for them to implement the free SHS Programme, at least when it is successfully implemented, NPP supporters will not be the sole beneficiary but all Ghanaians…,” he said.
Chief Biney explained that the NDC is also criticizing the programme to help bring out the best for Ghanaians.
“We in the NDC who are social democrats believe in the improvement of the life of people but that should not be through lies and propaganda.
The President in February assured that his government will fully implement the free Senior High School (SHS) policy from September 2017.
He said at the time that the implementation of the policy will cover the full fees of students who attend public Senior High Schools in the country.
Education Minister, Matthew Opoku Prempeh at an encounter with the press last week, announced that the free SHS Programme would start at the start of the 2017/18 academic year.
Under the free SHS policy, beneficiaries will not have to pay admission fees, library fees, science centre fees, no computer lab fees, no examination fees and no utility fees, according to the government.
The free SHS policy will also cover agricultural, vocational and technical institutions at the secondary school level.
Students held back during their secondary education for non-performance will not be catered for in their extra year of study under the Free Senior High School education policy.
The conditions attached, Chief Biney has said earlier makes the policy one akin to a scholarship scheme and not a free education policy.
According to him, the government is fast shifting the goalpost on the policy and rather implementing the progressively free education policy the NDC always argued.
“If the Free SHS is covering only first years and not continuing students, then it is a scholarship scheme and not free SHS as the government had promised…,” he said.