Executive Director of Africa Education Watch, Kofi Asare has refuted claims that the opposition National Democratic Congress introduced the current Free Senior High School policy.
According to him, what the NDC introduced was the Progressively Free Senior High School policy which targeted day student, unlike the current Free Senior High School policy that applies to all senior high school students.
“One is called progressively free; that one targeted day students, it made day students not to pay fees. So it subsidized examination fees, library fees, all those fees were paid by the state to the schools on behalf of these day students.
“The second one which is an improvement over the previous one, which obviously is the reason why government is a continuum is the free senior high school policy. And that one apart from making education free for these same day students it included a meal a day, free exercise books and free uniforms.”
His comment comes in response to the NDC’s flagbearer, John Dramani Mahama who during a campaign rally at Tuobong in the Tempane District of the Upper East Region said the Akufo-Addo government inherited the program from him before assuming office as it had already been launched.
The NDC at a press conference on November 26 also reiterated this claim demanding that the NPP give them credit for introducing the Free SHS policy.
However, speaking on Joy FM’s News Night, Kofi Asare said the claims are unfounded as both policies are not the same, referring to the NPP’s Free SHS policy as more comprehensive than that of the NDC’s Progressively Free SHS.
“And so the second one is a more comprehensive package if you’re comparing it to the progressively free. On the side of boarders, there were some subsidies for some of the utilities; mainly it was intended to be a subsidy for boarding schools and then free education sort of for day schools.
“But the free senior high school is an omnibus and comprehensive package, mostly free and also providing learning materials for students,” he said.