Constituent policy

Free SHS Policy is not owned by Akufo-Addo – Dr Apaak

Deputy Member of Parliament’s Education Committee, Dr. Clement Apaak welcomed President Akufo-Addo’s call for a conversation on the future of the government’s flagship program, Free Senior High School (FSHS).

According to him, this is what the leaders of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) are demanding.

“This program was born out of partisan political campaigning about whether he was going to be progressive or how he implemented it. It is not his personal property,” Dr Apaak said.

President Akufo-Addo, in a meeting with the leadership of the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) on Wednesday, expressed his readiness to engage in a discussion on the way forward regarding the policy of Free SHS.

The conversation, he said, must be about funding, availability of money, access and other ingredients that must work for the good of Ghanaians.

“One of the things people are calling for is the review of Free SHS, I think we should have a broader conversation about how education affects our national development,” President Akufo-Addo said.

His latest assertion represents a change of position from an earlier one, “Free SHS will never be seen again.”

Speaking in an interview on Joy FM Top Story On Thursday, Dr Apaak said the fact that President Akufo-Addo implemented the policy does not make it “his personal property”.

He added that the policy should be reviewed in its entirety and not only in relation to the problem of funding.

The NDC MP explained that “it is for this reason that some of us have repeatedly drawn attention to the need for a stakeholder forum. And this, in other ways, can be seen as a national conversation so that we can agree on the way forward by looking at the program in its entirety.

This, he said, is because the challenges hampering the program are no longer a secret.

“I don’t think we should be looking at ability to pay or inability to pay. Challenges hampering the program go beyond simple funding. So we don’t want to indicate which component needs to be reviewed.

Dr Apaak hoped the broader conversation would lead to “changes in the program to better serve us and give us the maximum dividends”.