‘It Is Now Time To Review The Free SHS’ – Palmer-Buckle
Most Reverend Charles Gabriel Palmer-Buckle has suggested the Free Senior High School programme be reviewed.
“I support 100%, the free SHS policy,” he said at the launch of a book titled, ‘Accra ACA, Bleoo, The History of the Accra Academy from James Town to Bubuashie’, adding: “It is now time to have a stakeholder engagement to review the free SHS”.
The 726-page book was written by Simon Ontoyin, a graduate of the University of Ghana and an alumnus of Accra Academy.
In the cleric’s view, the programme can be tweaked to serve better, its purpose of providing free secondary education to all children irrespective of their financial background.
In July 2018, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta made a suggestion that the programme should target the poor.
“I can’t take my child to Achimota or Odorgonno and leave him or her there and drive away and not pay for anything while I can pay for ten people,” he said.
He noted, however: “We need to begin to get the data to then be discriminatory in how and who pays and who doesn’t pay.”
The need to make the programme a targeted one was first proposed by some groups like IMANI Africa and the National Association of Graduate Teachers, NAGRAT.
“Each soul is important. You would rather make that mistake, if it was a mistake, to get everybody in the system for the nation to then begin to have a conversation and say: ‘This is good for us because we want our human capital to be at a certain level but maybe, let’s begin to adjust it this way’”.