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‘Gov’t shouldn’t make SHS free for all, some must pay for it’ – Prof. Aryeetey

Prof. Ernest Aryeetey, the former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, has opposed the Free Senior High School programme and suggested that it should be targeted at persons with genuine needs and not made to benefit everyone.

Speaking at a Leadership Dialogue Series by the Centre of Social Justice (CSJ) themed ‘Ghana’s education system, current state, and future aspirations’, he proposed that some Senior High Schools should be allowed to demand fees whereas others are made free.


This, he believes will create a fair playing field for students from all walks of life.


“I believe strongly that we need to target people, and the most appropriate way is by means-testing. Means testing by the government will reduce the cost of tuition to the government and the monies saved channelled to improving the facilities and providing quality service. We have to find ways of pursuing what best works in our environment. Instead of making SHSs free, why don’t we make some free and others payable.”

“With that parents get to make a decision based on their strength. Even with the schools that are not free, scholarship opportunities could be created to allow people who are not financially strong to compete for them. That way, we can drag everyone along, poor or rich.”

There have been calls for government to review the Free SHS policy, as it takes a chunk of the country’s resources, and poses a threat to quality, although access has drastically improved.

But the government insists the programme will remain as it is, despite the challenges in the release of funds to the various Senior High Schools.


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