General News of Tuesday, 5 December 2017
Former Deputy Education Minister and Member of Parlaiment (MP) for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, says he has it on authority that, some students in one of second cycle institutions in Cape Coast are pregnant as a result of the Free Senior High School policy.
Since the rolling out of the policy more than three months ago, the minority side in parliament, especially Mr. Ablakwa, has consistently raised doubts about the effectiveness of the policy, insisting, at different times, that the policy may collapse because of government’s inability to sustain it.
There have been widespread reports of challenges with students either studying under trees or eating in poorly ventilated dining rooms. Recently in an interview, he was emphatic the policy will collapse in five years because government does not have the capacity to see the program to a successful end.
Speaking on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen political show program on Monday, Mr. Ablakwa, who declined to name the specific school and the four girls, said the policy has rendered most students homeless and as a result resorted to renting apartments outside of the school.
He said the situation is what has resulted in the pregnancy of the four students, whose identity he will not disclose.
The free SHS policy which was major campaign tool of the current government in 2012 an 2016 respectively, was rolled out in September this year with over 400, 000 beneficiaries.
It has however been characterized by challenges ranging from the unavailability of accommodation, furniture, poor feeding to lack of basic amenities at the implementing institutions.
Some members of the current government including Dr Kwame Amoako Tuffuor, have called on government to take pragmatic steps in addressing challenges the programme is saddled with citing his experience during a visit to one of the schools.