Minister Clears Air On Free SHS

MINISTER OF Information, Mustapha Hamid, has cleared the air on the controversy surrounding the implementation of the Free Senior High School (SHS) policy by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration, saying that there is no contradiction, as some people want Ghanaians to believe.

Mr. Hamid had been accused of contradicting the Minister of Education, Dr. Mathew Opoku-Prempeh popularly called Napo, on the beneficiaries of the programme.

The education minister had reportedly told Starr Fm recently that only students who passed their BECE would have the opportunity to enjoy the policy, effective September this year.

According to report from the said interview, Dr. Opoku-Prempeh had indicated that only “brilliant” students with aggregate 20 would enjoy the Free SHS programme, with the minister dismissing the report shortly after.

In the heat of the debate, Mr. Hamid was reported to have contradicted Napo when he reportedly told the same Starr Fm a day after the interview with the education minister that students would benefit from the policy without writing the BECE, beginning the 2018/2019 academic year.

That had caused the President of policy tank-think, IMANI Ghana, Franklin Cudjoe, to express worry about government’s preparedness towards the implementation of the programme.

“We are in a dire need of policy coordinating units of important programmes like the Free SHS. The education minister says one must pass BECE before enjoying free SHS, the information minister comes in to say something else. There is a little of confusion and I think we all need clarity. A little coherence is needed in this whole Free SHS policy and its implementation,” Mr. Cudjoe had said.

However, in an interview with DAILY GUIDE yesterday, Mr. Hamid denied that he had contradicted the education minister as had been reported by the media.

According to Mr. Hamid, in line with the New Patriotic Party’s manifesto, government is considering the possibility of taking the BECE from an exit exam to a placement exam.

He explained that a placement exam is not to determine who has failed or passed but to determine the skills and technical competence of each child and place them in the appropriate institution which best guarantees them the opportunity to develop their God-given talents.

Mr. Hamid indicated that there would be no discrimination against students in the Free SHS programme.

Source : peacefmonline



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