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Those saying I will cancel free SHS are ‘bloody’ liars

Former President John Mahama says he has no intention to abolish the Free Senior High School policy should he be voted into power.

The flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) clarifying his stance on the policy said he is never against it.

However he said he is not against the policy but against the implementation process which he claims has caused parents, students, and teachers great inconvenience.

Mahama paid a courtesy call on the Overlord of Dagbon, Ya-Na Abukari II and says he has no plans to scrap off the policy which was introduced by the Akufo-Addo government.

“Free Senior High School education has come to stay. If anybody tells you that I, John Dramani Mahama, will abolish Free SHS when I come into power tell the person he is a bloody liar. What I am against is the poor implementation of the Free SHS which is creating great inconvenience for the parents, students and teachers and what I said is we can implement it better, if the government had followed our plans with the new SHS blocks we put up we wouldn’t have the current situation,”

John Mahama over the years has criticised the way the policy has been implemented and says if he wins power, he will have a broader consultation with stakeholders and will make sure it is properly implemented.

The Free SHS, introduced in September 2017, meant that the fees of every child in Ghana, who gained admission to a public Senior High School, will be absorbed by the government.

It also meant free tuition, admission, textbooks, library fees, science centre fees, fees for ICT, examination fees, utility fees, boarding, and meals.

This, the government believed, will remove any cost barrier that prevents students from achieving their educational goals.

The policy, however, has not been spared from challenges. The increased rate of admissions cased a shortage of infrastructure in some schools with students allegedly forced to sleep on mattresses on the floor.

Subsequently, the government introduced a double-track system to alleviate the living challenges.

Students were divided into two tracks, gold and green, and took turns going to school.

Mahama has also said if the government had focused on building more infrastructure and completed most of his E-Block schools, this would have solved a major accommodation problem.

Many Ghanaians have accepted the policy even though it has not been sparred from criticisms.

Some have called for the policy to be institutionalised.

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