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Leader of the Majority in Parliament, Alexander Kwamina Afenyo-Markin, has reemphasised the impact of the Free Senior High School policy on persons who couldn’t have afforded secondary education without the programme.

His comment comes on the back of complaints on the cost being incurred by guardians to send their wards to school despite the existence of the Free SHS programme.

Recounting the challenges he faced during his basic education, he said it took the intervention of Papa Kwesi Nduom, Chief Executive Officer of the defunct GN Bank, to complete his education through a bursary he introduced at the time.

He explains his education would have been truncated since he did not have the means to continue, had it not been the bursary he benefited from at the time.  He tells Berla Mundi on TV3’s New Day Thursday, February 29, 2024 that the Free SHS has come to solve problems of thousands of people confronted with the challenge he faced at the time.

“No matter how much parents are spending now, it will not be better than having to pay fees. Because some are doing day schools and they are not paying anything. Parents may be spending on their children but they are still better than having to pay school fees,” he explained.

“Look, it took the grace of God for me to complete school. But for Nduom’s bursary, I wouldn’t have complete secondary school. Paa Kwesi Nduom brought a bursary when I was in final year that whoever breaks his record; Government, History, Literature, there is a bursary for you. It was that bursary that enabled me to register for my final year and to pay for my fees. I would have been sent home,” he disclosed.

The Majority Leader expressed his readiness to welcome suggestions that will situate the policy better, rather than those that suggests a u-turn on the programme.

“But I agree to suggestions that will aim at helping the system work. Not suggestions that would do a complete u-turn. Africa Education Watch has commended the Minister for the reforms he has made; for listening to them especially when it comes to the school placement system, all the reforms that have been introduced and the fact that the poor man’s son can now go to Mfantsipim. So those are the advantages, the fact that many more are getting access and we are getting very good results should not be discounted,” he indicated.

‘My journey in life has been very terrible sometimes’ – Afenyo-Markin