The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has said that contrary to the lies emanating from the corridors of government assigns and their collaborators that the NDC will cancel the Free Senior High School (SHS) programme, when elected into power, the party would rather make it better for every Ghanaian child.
This according to the NDC would include those who wish to attend private Senior High Schools as well as those who wish to school in their districts as well.
The NDC says it will ensure that no Ghanaian child is left out of its brand of Free SHS because it has plans to expand the reach of the programme to cover under-served private schools as well as establish senior high schools in districts without any, if it secures victory in the upcoming general elections.
The NDC’s running mate, Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang stated that the second-cycle schools in the private sector also need to be roped into the national initiative.
The running mate, who is a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast said, “We plan to make the Free SHS more inclusive by expanding it to cover students in private Senior High Schools in under-served and deprived parts of the country”.
“The current Free SHS programme is causing more harm than good”, a parent who prefers to remain anonymous revealed. According to him, there are many wards still unable to take advantage of the NPP’s Free SHS because they cannot afford to rent rooms at exorbitant rates for their wards who have been admitted to schools very far from their homes.
He further revealed that his daughter got pregnant and has had to drop out of school because he rented a room for her to stay alone and attend classes because she was sent to a school in the Eastern Region far from his home in the Ashanti Region. “The NPP rushed in implementing a very good programme very poorly,” he concluded.
Prof. Opoku-Agyemang says the NDC has better plans for the advancement of education in the country. And because of that, they will introduce better programmes in the education sector to help develop education to world standards.
She said, “We have every plan and desire to make the Free SHS much better. We will do that by ensuring that its numerous challenges are addressed, and that high operational and academic standard are introduced and sustained”.
She added that NDC’s Free SHS programme will see to the setting up of schools in disadvantaged, over-populated and under-served areas including Zongos and other deprived communities.
They will complete all abandoned structures for secondary and technical education including abandoned E~Blocks to cater for current students and expected increase in admissions, commence the construction of at least one Senior High School in districts without same and expand existing and well performing schools to admit and accommodate more students.
They will also expand the Free SHS programme to cover students in private senior high schools in under-served areas. This, she said, will ensure that no single Ghanaian child is left out of former President John Dramani Mahama’s proposed Free SHS programme.
According to the running mate, the NDC will abolish the Free SHS Double Track System and bring back the Single Track System, measures, which the NDC believes will cater for more students in future.
By: Cyril Duodu & Franky Yale
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