Ghanaian medical doctor and politician, Dr. Arthur Kobina Kennedy says government made a cardinal mistake of covering boarding school expenses under the free Senior High School (SHS) policy.
With Ghana’s current economic situation, some experts and a section of the public have called for the suspension of some government initiatives including the free SHS, Nation Builders Corps (NABCO) and Planting for Food and Jobs policies. They argued the money from these initiatives can be used to revive the economy.
Addressing the issue, Dr. Arthur Kennedy indicated, “I believe these are some valid points being made here but I don’t think the free SHS policy should be suspended. I think the cardinal mistake of the free SHS was it covering boarding schools and its related expenses.”
Mr. Kennedy further explained why the USA free High School policy is functional compared to Ghana.
“In the USA, majority of students in High School leave home for school daily. They are not in boarding schools. Although the boarding school system left to us by the British was a good idea, we can’t pay for the boarding fees and its related expenses for all students under the free SHS policy. We need to transition the free SHS policy to benefit the day school only as soon as possible,” he told Sefah-Danquah on Happy98.9FM’s Epa Hoa Daben political talk show.
According to him, if Ghana is able to transition the free SHS policy to the day school, it will be affordable for government and will help reduce debts.
He noted that, government after focusing on the day school can use some of the excesses to bus students to school “and then we will not focus on housing and feeding of students. If anyone is interested in taking their children to the boarding houses then they pay for it whilst gov’t focuses its resources on education.”
Dr. Arthur Kobina Kennedy stated emphatically that the free SHS policy is a good initiative but was not implemented well with funds being mismanaged.
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