Minority refutes Free SHS inclusivity claim by Education Minister

The Minority in Parliament has refuted claims by the Education Minister, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, that the Free SHS policy has promoted inclusive education for all students.

Dr. Yaw Adutwum at an event dubbed “The Free SHS Story” in Accra on Tuesday, April 23, 2024, underscored the policy’s role in providing educational support to enhance student learning.

Speaking to Citi News, ranking member on the Education Committee in Parliament, Peter Nortsu-Kotoe said the Education Minister’s assertion is invalid, citing several shortfalls within the educational sector.

“It is not correct because this year, Africa Education Watch made an analysis, and it is true that about 196,000 students in the last four years were not able to enter the free senior high school policy programme because of poverty. You see although we say it is free in actual sense it is not actually free”.

He also mentioned that the financial burden of purchasing essential items for their children is another significant challenge for most parents.

He said, “Parents spend as much as 5000 cedis in buying items and paying monies to these schools before their wards enter. And how many parents will get that? If you go to the rural areas, it was about 1500 to 2000…”

Meanwhile, Peter Nortsu-Kotoe reiterated that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) still stands by its decision to review the Free SHS policy and not abolish it.

“Former president Mahama said he would continue the Free senior high school and even extend it to private schools that are willing to come on board. He said it categorically and also indicated that within 100 days of coming to the office, he is going to organize a review program of education on the free senior high school so that assurance is there.

“We will make it better and more accessible. We will make sure we complete all the abandoned schools and E-block to make sure students have enough space to sleep, study and make them comfortable to learn very hard.”

Source: Yaa Wodenya

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