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Free SHS is not under review – Ministry ‘corrects’ GES boss

Free SHS is not under review - Ministry 'corrects' GES boss

Some beneficiaries of Free SHS welcome President Akufo-Addo | File photo
Some beneficiaries of Free SHS welcome President Akufo-Addo | File photo

Reports that government’s flagship Free Senior High School, Free SHS, policy, is set to be reviewed are not true.

This is according to Public Relations Officer of the Ministry of Education, Kwasi Kwarteng, who spoke in an interview with Accra-based Citi FM on Friday, July 22, 2022.

“So far as the Ministry of Education is concerned and our agencies are also concerned, discussions of review… have not come to the table of the Ministry or the Minister,” he said.

On the possibility of a review any time soon, he responded: “If there comes a time when… that conversation comes up, why not? The ministry will be open to that.”

He stressed further that, it was not the place of the Ghana Education Service or even the Ministry to champion calls for a review. “It goes beyond the agency. It goes beyond the ministry. It is an entire Ghanaian thing.”

Mr. Kwarteng was reacting to reports earlier in the day that said the policy was being reviewed with the media quoting Director-General of the GES.

Prof. Kwasi Opoku Amankwah, was quoted by news portal as saying a review was currently underway.

The report said the DG disclosed that the review was to determine which benefits of the Free SHS will be relinquished by the government and transferred to parents.

“…we can do the analysis and then come up and say that, ok, to give Raymond quality education, it will cost this much. Within that cost, these are the items in the cost.

“Then we will all put it out there and say this item, we can make do of it, and it will not affect quality, this item, I think we can get parents to pay,” he told the host of JoyNews Upfront programme, Raymond Acquah.

Kwarteng had earlier posted a statement on his Facebook handle dismissing the reports.

The post titled: “FREE SHS IS NOT UNDER REVIEW” read as follows:

The Ministry’s attention has been drawn to some publications making the rounds which suggest an ongoing review of the Free SHS policy by the GES.

According to the story, the said review is to determine how much parents can pay so far as the policy is concerned.

For purposes of clarity, the Free SHS policy is not under the purported review.

Call for review of Free SHS

Calls for a review of the programme has heightened whiles fears of the IMF calling for a scrapping or massive review of the programme has also come up.

Government insists that Free SHS will remain untouched in its current form, allying any fears and or critique.

The Free SHS policy is one of the main policies of the government of Ghana, which started in September 2017.

“Every child in Ghana who qualifies for, and is placed in a public Senior High School for his secondary education will have his/her fees absorbed by the government,” the Free SHS secretariat said on its website.

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