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Proposed Free SHS Bill contradicts 1992 constitution – Ranking Member on Education Select Committee

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The Ranking Member on the Education Select Committee in Parliament, Peter Nortsu, has said the proposed Free SHS bill contravenes the 1992 constitution.

Portions of the proposed Bill suggest decoupling the Junior High School from basic school and integrating it into Senior High School.

When Mr. Nortsu, who doubles as MP for Akatsi North, spoke on A1 Radio’s Mark Smith today, he stated that the proposed Bill, which was initially proposed by former Education Minister, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, contravenes Article 25 of the 1992 constitution.

He stated that the current definition of basic school includes JHSs, and so a decoupling would not work.

“Their decision to merge Junior High Schools with Senior High Schools has constitutional implications. In 2020, Dr. Opoku Prempeh, the former Minister for Education, wanted to do that, but when he brought it to the floor of the House, he had to withdraw it because it is against the constitution of the country.”

“When you go to the Constitution, there is basic education, secondary education, and tertiary education, and basic education ends at Junior High School. You cannot make the Junior High School part of the Senior High School until you amend the constitution,” he said.

The MP said members on his side would continue to wait patiently until the bill is brought to parliament.

Nortsu has said the government, along with the majority group in parliament, are not clear on what the way forward is with regard to the proposed Free SHS bill.

“We have been promised the Free SHS bill, but that is yet to see the floor of Parliament. The Majority Leader said it has been approved by Cabinet and is supposed to come to Parliament. The Minister said it is yet to receive Cabinet approval, so we don’t know which is which,” he said.

Source: A1Radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Bolgatanga

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