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27 July 2017

State of economy will not stop free SHS – Education Minister

The Education Minister says the state of Ghana’s economy will not delay the implementation of government’s free senior high school programme.

Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh said “bad economy” has been part of the country’s governance since independence.

At the Information Ministry’s first Meet-the-Press encounter Thursday, he said even years which were touted as Ghana’s best years ever were not good enough.

Related Article: World Bank, Saudi Arabia join gov’t free SHS bandwagon

“Ghana has not been the best of economies since independence but we have had one way or the other free SHS in one form or the other,” he said.

The governing New Patriotic Party (NPP)’s flagship campaign promise, free SHS has been criticized by political critics and some economists, who said it will drain the country’s resources.

Critics claim the economy is not in the best shape to cushion the programme which will need an estimated ¢3.6 million yearly.

Related Article: Addo-Kufour cautions against hasty implementation of free SHS policy

Former Defense Minister, Dr Kwame Addo Kufuor

Former Defense Minister and leading member of the NPP, Dr Kwame Addo Kufuor has also cautioned government to close the loopholes in the areas of finance and quality before implementing the programme.

Although he admitted the policy is good, he said it will require a year or two incubation period before rolling it out.

The government has allocated the amount of ¢400 million for the implementation of the programme in its 2017 budget.

Unfazed by voices of critics, the Education Minister said free SHS will start in September 2017 as scheduled.

“For those who don’t believe or do say we should wait or anybody who has any information that the President has not got about the economy can submit it to the President,” he said.

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