Free SHS is good but straining national budget – Otumfuo
The free Senior High School (SHS) programme is one of the boldest initiatives of the Government of Ghana, the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has said.
He says it gives opportunity to all Ghanaian children to access Senior High School education irrespective of their backgrounds.
However, he said, the initiative also poses some challenges that must be addresses.
He indicated that the policy is putting strains on the national budget and also raises further challenges of job creation for the teeming graduates that are being churned out.
Speaking at the Memphis University in the United States of America on Friday May 6, he said “Now, the current government has introduced the free education up to senior high school which now ensures that all Ghanaian children, from whatever background, are guaranteed free education.
“Considering the value of education to the nation, this must be one of the boldest policies of the nation but it also brings its challenges. It puts a huge strain on the national budget and raises further challenges about the creation of jobs for the increasing number of graduates. I am sure the the brains assembled here in this audience and beyond will be reassured that Ghana is on on the right path.”
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in 2017 launched the Free Senior High School Policy in fulfilment of his campaign promise in 2017.
“Today, we throw open the doors of opportunity and hope to our young people… We have a sacred duty to our children and the generations beyond in ensuring that, irrespective of their circumstances, their right to education is preserved,” the President said to an ecstatic crowd at the West Africa Senior High School premises at Adenta.
He added ““I want every Ghanaian child to attend secondary school not just for what they learn in books, but for the life experiences that they will gain. I want each of them to look in the mirror in the morning, every morning, and know that they can achieve anything they dream of when they complete their studies.
“I want them to be confident that what they study is relevant to the demands of today, and of tomorrow. I want every Ghanaian child to be comfortable in the knowledge that, when they work hard, they will be as capable as anyone else in the world. And I want parents to look upon their children with pride, as they watch them mature into self-confident adults,” the President said.