Ghana’s economic strains will not prevent the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government from effectively implementing its Free Senior High School education policy, the Education Minister, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh has asserted.
Speaking at the press conference on Thursday, the Education Minister said the commitment to the Free SHS policy, earmarked to start in the 2017/2018 academic year, was an indication of the Akufo-Addo administration’s priorities.
Presenting the 2017 Budget Statement, the Minister of Finance said the policy would cost the government GHS400 million to implement for the start of 2017/2018 academic year, with funding from the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA).
Dr. Opoku Prempeh reminded that free secondary education has been part of Ghana in one form or the other since independence.
What this particular policy seeks to do is to “extend free secondary education to all Ghanaians who are in public senior high schools,” the Minister said.
“We are not oblivious to the fact that it may mean many people going to school. So what! Education is better than ignorance in all its forms. Ghana has never been a rich country and when we started free secondary education after independence, Ghana wasn’t a rich country.”
“Ghana has never been a rich country but we have gone on the path way of offering free secondary education to people since independence. Ghana is not going to be a rich country today but we will still offer free secondary education to all those who secondary education in the public school.”
“That is life. When you decide your priorities and you put your money where your priorities lie. Those who want ignorance will tell us it’s not sustainable so should we stop? Those who love ignorance will tell you if it is not sustainable, stop. Those who love education will strive to make it worthwhile…”