President Akufo Addo has expressed his openness to a broader conversation on access to education, especially the Free Senior High School (FSHS) policy.
According to him, the conversation must look at funding, availability of money, access and other elements that must work for the good of the Ghanaian.
“One of the things people have been calling for is the review of Free SHS, I think we should have a broader conversation about the incidence of education on our national development,” he said.
According to him, although there are powerful people who are against the Free SHS, he shares a different view on the programme which is that it is for the public good. He added that the benefits of the Free SHS programme are ‘obvious’ in the country.
Addressing the leadership of the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS), the President said the Education Ministry is seriously looking at the issues to inform a policy direction going forward.
The President had earlier insisted that the free SHS was not up for a review. He was categorical that in spite of the current economic difficulties accentuated by the COVID 19 pandemic and the Russian Ukraine war, the free SHS policy was not to be touched. The president’s latest comment might therefore be seen as a slight shift in position.
For his part, the President of the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS), Dennis Appiah Larbi says the policy is good as, “it creates a huge appeal and enthusiasm amongst people who want to go to tertiary institutions.”
“We as a student front are proposing that if it is possible, develop a sustainable means of financing the no guarantor system such that it should be able to help a least 150,000 people in a year,” he added.
Mr. Dennis Appiah Larbi also appealed to the government to urgently address challenges with the school feeding programme, non-payment of nurses’ allowance and the no guarantor for students loan system introduced by the government.