Free SHS Rolled Out In Ad Hoc Manner – Mahama

Former President John Dramani Mahama has taken a swipe at government over the Free Senior High School programme, saying its implementation was rushed.

Mr Mahama says the concept is good but the implementation is where the difference lies.

The former president made these remarks on Saturday when he joined hundreds of supporters of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in a health walk at Somanya in the Eastern Region.

Dubbed ‘Unity Walk’, the health walk has afforded the former president the opportunity to address party supporters and speak on issues affecting the generality of Ghanaians.

The 16-kilometer walk saw other party stalwarts also participate.

Addressing the teeming supporters of the largest opposition party, President Mahama said the government should not have gotten a fundamental policy like the Free SHS Policy wrong.

“We all agree on the concept of Free Senior High School,” he admitted. “Where we differ is about [it being done] progressively.”

He said “somebody” may decide to implement the policy gradually within three years, for instance.

But the current government rushed by implementing it when there are not enough dormitories, laboratories, textbooks, dining halls and even administration blocks, he said.

“Yet you say in three years for a programme that is so fundamental, you have no policy, you have no guideline, you are just implementing it in an ad hoc manner.”

The policy was introduced at the beginning of the 20172018 academic year.

It was launched on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 at West Africa SHS in Adenta, Accra with the government later admitting to the challenges and promising to deal with same.

For Mr Mahama, there has to be a stakeholders’ meeting of some sort to address the challenges.

He told the gathering how several school heads are sustaining the programme with fees of Form 2 and Form 3 students, which forebodes difficulties in the future when those students complete.

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