Bawumia shoots down proposal for ‘Free SHS law’

Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia

The Vice President, Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, has dismissed the massive calls for the enactment of a law to wean the free Senior High School (SHS) programme off political interference.

According to him, commitment and political will are required to ensure the programme’s sustainability in all subsequent regimes.

Dr. Bawumia’s position follows law lecturer Dr. Raymond Atuguba’s proposal for the enactment of a law to protect the free Senior High School (SHS) programme from political interference.

The Senior Law lecturer at the University of Ghana Law School, Dr. Raymond Atuguba lately warned that the government’s Flagship programme in the educational sector is likely to collapse if a legislation that makes it binding on all subsequent regimes is not passed.

Speaking at a Constitution Review Conference at Dodowa Friday, November 24, 2017, on Retooling the Constitution from political to a developmental one, Dr. Atuguba advocated legislative Instruments through Constitution Review to wean the programme off political interference.

“Let’s say that if NDC [National Democratic Congress] wins 2020 or 2024, you know they can cancel free SHS, you know that? What sense will that make? But right now without a binding national development plan, they can do that. With a binding national development plan, once you put in the plan that every government must work progressively towards free SHS, then no government can [scrap the policy].”

But Dr. Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia at the Tamale Senior High School’s (Tamasco) 23rd speech and prize-giving day, shot down such proposal for the enactment of a law to protect the policy.

“Free senior high school education doesn’t have to be backed by law to be funded. What is required is commitment and the political will to make sure that the budgetary resources are made available to support it. We are covering everybody and we are making the budgetary provision for it.”

“The beginning of government’s commitment to building human capacity for this country is the introduction in September this year the free senior high school policy across the country.”

“This policy has undoubtedly widened access to senior high school education and provided equal opportunities to all students in our efforts to provide access to quality education.”

“Government will continue to engage all stakeholders to address any challenges in implementing the free senior high school policy in a holistic and an all-inclusive manner. We remain committed in our conviction that we will overcome all the challenges and hurdles. We know that there are challenges that have been with furniture, beds and so on.”

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