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Policy think tank IMANI Ghana has heavily chastised the Akufo-Addo government for being incoherent in its quest to implement its much-touted free SHS policy.
Barely three months to the implementation of the policy, Education Minister, Mathew Opoku Prempeh, has disclosed in an exclusive interview with Francis Abban, the host of Morning Starr that only students who pass their BECE examination will have the opportunity to enjoy the policy.
He said “Since people want to benefit, they will employ their employ their children to study very hard to pass the exams, because there is still a pass there. It is not how the free will be to enjoy, but you have to pass an exam and indeed to study, so let’s get that one done first.
“If you fail an exam how can you benefit from something free; I am surprised. Even now it’s not everyone that gets the chance to go in even with what they pay because if you fail, you fail. How can somebody who has failed progress. Even when COCOBOD is giving scholarships, don’t you have to pass to benefit, for those whose children don’t pass, do they get scholarships?”
The Minister’s comment is a clear departure from President Akufo-Addo’s unambiguous stance of making sure every Ghanaian of school going age enjoys the policy.
Speaking Saturday February 2, 2017 at the 60th anniversary celebration of Okuapeman School, the President said “without any equivocation, without any reservation, without any doubt to take Ghana to the stage where public SHS education will be free for every Ghanaian child.”
Commenting on the development Tuesday in an interview with Naa Dedei Tettey on the Starr Midday News, the President of IMANI Ghana, Franklin Cudjoe, said the minister’s comment “is an example of the inconsistencies in policy making, policy planning and implementation. We have been asking for a proper policy guidelines. Some sort of a printed paper on this matter for quite a while now…as I understand, it is still in focus.”
He added “What the minister clearly stated ordinarily, you would say makes sense because in any case…people who are probably needy and brilliant may be supported. But, you see if you capture your comments to the extent that people have to pass first before to enjoy, then presumably the method has changed anyway.”