Free SHS: Finance Minister hints of review
Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta, has indicated that the Free Senior High School (SHS) programme will be reviewed to address the current challenges facing the policy.
According to Mr. Ofori Atta, the proposed review will deal with issues concerning efficiency of the policy, as well as proposals on how parents can be “drawn in” to support the programme to ensure that those in need are not left out of the discussions.
The proposal is coming at time when there is a debate whether the policy should be reviewed or abolished since it’s consuming chunk of government revenue.
“The issue we have to contend with is that the kid by being a citizen has a right to education. The moral right of the parent is to look after their children or child. But as a government, we need to ensure that the child can go to school”, he mentioned in an interview, last week.
Mr. Ofori-Atta was however quick to add that the proposals are subject to Cabinet’s approval which will be assessed under a policy review.
“For instance, if we have scholarship schemes, you have to prove that you need the scholarship.
However, we must never compromise on the citizen who is less than 18 years and that child’s right to education,” he stressed.
Mr. Ofori-Atta noted that Cabinet will be the final body to assess the proposal and make appropriate recommendations.
“It’s a Cabinet’s decision when it comes to these proposals. However, I will be doing the necessary presentations to guide whatever decision that will be taken”, he assured.
Reiterating the mandate of the government, he maintained that it is government’s responsibility to provide quality education as a right to all children.
“It is government’s right to ensure that the kid goes to school, however there is the need to ensure that it goes to the needy or those that can’t pay”.
Mr. Ofori-Atta cautioned that it is very important that a review is handled tactically to secure the interest of parents and children are protected .
“If it was not for education, some of us will not have been here”, he pointed out.