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2023 Budget: Review Free SHS, allow parents to bear some costs – Johnson Ayine

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Johnson Ayine, a member of the NPP’s Upper East Regional Communication Team is supporting calls for a review of the Free Senior High School programme. This, he said, would allow for burden sharing.

Some Ghanaians have advised the government to reconsider its free Senior High School (SHS) policy as a means to mitigate the economic challenges confronting the country. They say the government ought to cut down on its discretionary spending including spending on Free Senior High School policy. 

Speaking on the Day Break Upper East Show, Mr. Ayine said the government should take care of only the school frees. The remaining costs should be borne by parents. 

He said, “in 2021 after the election, I was the first person in this region to call on the government to suspend free education. The reason was that, we were still moving out slowly from COVID, our finances weren’t there; allow parents to take care of it. If we had done that and suspended some of the social policies, we would have accumulated those kinds of moneys. Our reserves would have soared. If we have better reserves, the stability of the cedis will be there and those things can attract the credit rating to give you a better rating. When you get a better rating, then you have the flexibility to go for financial support and going forward maybe 2022 or 2023 when the finances get better then you reintroduce it. It would have been good. My proposal to the government is that, in the free education, limit it to only the fees. Let them [parents] buy whatever is there. As for the feeding, you can continue feeding them but the uniform, the outing, and mattresses the parents should take care of them. There is no need to continue to do that, let us take those things out and concentrate on the absorption of the fees. I think it will help. Registration at the basic level, take it away, let the parents pay. It will help.”

However, NDC communications team member, Casper Kampoli said the  NPP should have learnt from the NDC and continue with the progressively free senior high school because all that Mr Ayine recounted fell in line with what the NDC government under John Dramain Mahama was doing as progressively free Senior High School

Source: A1Radioonline.com|101.1MHz| Samuel Adagom|Ghana

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