Asante Akyim North Member of Parliament (MP), Andy Kwame Appiah-Kubi, has called for a review for government’s flagship Free Senior High School (SHS) policy.
The MP says government’s refusal to accept support from the public will collapse the programme. His call comes on the back of the West Africa Senior High School (WASS) Headmistress who was interdicted for accepting support from parents to provide furniture for the students.
The Ghana Education Service (GES) interdicted Dr Shine Agartha Ofori, Headmistress of the West Africa Senior High School for the unauthorised collection of money from students.
Her interdiction was contained in a release signed and issued by the Head of Public Relations Unit of the GES, Cassandra Twum Ampofo, in Accra on Thursday, July 20, 2023.
She was asked to hand over the administration of the school to the Regional Director of Education pending the final determination of the case by the Regional Disciplinary Committee.
“Management of GES has interdicted Dr. Mrs. Shine Agatha Ofori, Headmistress of West Africa SHS, for unauthorised collection of money from students. She was to hand over the administration of the school to the Regional Director of Education pending final determination of the case by the Regional Disciplinary Committee,” GES added in the press release.
But according to Mr. Appiah-Kubi, the decision taken by the Ghana Education Service (GES) on the Headmistress is unconscionable and suggests the Free SHS system be reviewed to receive support from the public for sustainability.
“I think the whole concept of the free education will need a review for people to even opt to contribute to the general coffers of the Free SHS, why don’t we allow? I find that decision not supported by any reasoning, it is so unconscionable. It’s a desperate effort to make a statement that’s not necessary. There is obvious need for support, it [her interdiction] is needless.
“It has come to the fore that we don’t have adequate materials for the work to be done and somebody says I want to support you and that person opens door for support him and you target him and that person becomes object of institutional attack, how can you justify this? I think in the desperation to clean yourself, you may be tempted to do what is wrong and this is one of such circumstances. I don’t think that we can have any reason to justify… what wrong has she done? If it came through that the support came through her and of course she abused that support, then of course we could bring out some sanctions,” he fumed.
Commenting on further allegations that an Assistant Headmaster of WASS used his MoMo account to solicit for the fund, the MP said “Momo is a legal platform. If it went to the assignment meant for it, why would you blame somebody? The giver, the receiver and the manager, none of them is at fault. So, I don’t see why we have to attempt to clean a right with a wrong so whoever took that decision did not do a good job.”
He continued that, companies just like individuals who have made enough profit and want to contribute towards the Free SHS policy must be allowed just as he helped paint a full dormitory for Prempeh College when his son gained admission there some years ago.
“We should rather encourage people to support the scheme for sustainability reasons. The concept of free SHS must be… in fact every policy grows through review so it is not bad to review a situation when you are facing challenges,” he concluded.