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Free SHS will produce school dropout – Ablakwa

A former Deputy Minister for Education is predicting a high rate of school dropout as the government begins the implementation of the flagship Free Senior High School (SHS) policy.

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa explained that, majority of the students especially in second and third years from poor homes will dropout if their parents are not able to fund their education.

Rather, he proposed the beneficiaries of the free SHS policy should have been children from poor homes and not for those who can afford.

‘Some rich parents whose children are beneficiaries can even pay the fees of 100 poor children yet they wards are also in school free’ he bemoaned.

About 400,000 students are expected to benefit from the education policy that will exempt them from paying for tuition and other fees.

At the launch of the logo for the policy two weeks ago, the President said apart from free tuition there will be no fees collected for use of the library, computers, utilities etc.

Though many doubted the viability of the policy, many parents are amazed when they take their wards to school free of charge.

He indicated that, the Akufo-Addo led government did not put in place stable funding to keep it running.

“What is clear to me is that government is going to struggle to find the money. For an adequate and proper implementation of Free SHS, you would need GH¢600 million a term. They should rather target the poor students with the GH¢400 million and not the rich. I think it’s not sustainable, especially under the current circumstances” the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for North Tongu stressed.

On the way forward, Okudzeto Ablakwa urged government to put aside the partisan politics and seek the interest of the future generation.

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