General News of Wednesday, 28 November 2018
The Social Justice Movement (SJM), a group of socialists in the Upper East Region has called on government to reverse its decision of excluding children whose parents do not register for the Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) from the Fee Senior High School (SHS) Programme.
A press statement, signed by Mr Richard Asueme and Mr Nyeya Yen, the Convenors of a press conference in Bolgatanga, said if the new directive was not reversed, the government would be depriving innocent children of their right to enjoy free education.
The SJM has branches across all the 10 regions of the country and has among its objectives, ensuring fairness, equity and social and economic justice for all Ghanaians particularly the vulnerable.
It said as much as it appreciated government’s objective to collect taxes to pay for social services, it did not think exempting students whose parents had not registered for the TIN, from the free SHS programme was the right way to raise revenue for the country.
“The action of the government will inadvertently affect students from poor backgrounds. It is important to mention that millions of Ghanaians live in rural areas and are subsistence farmers. If this action is implemented it will affect students from poor background. Often it is people from poor backgrounds who have problems registering for such schemes”, it emphasised.
Citing the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) registration as an example, it said people in remote areas found it difficult to access it as it takes days if not weeks for people to register.