The Education Minister Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh has said that only 400 Senior High Schools (SHS) in Ghana will run the double-track system meant to absorb the 31 percent increase in enrolment due to the Free SHS programme.

The minister was speaking when he took his turn at the Meet-The-Press series on Tuesday, August 7, 2018, in Accra.

“It is not every school that will have the double-track, but every school will have the semester system,” Dr Opoku Prempeh said.

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“All Senior High Schools henceforth will run the semester system even when we build all the infrastructures, all SHSs will be semester system,” he added.

Meanwhile, he said that the Free SHS programme will remain free for all SHS students, despite the Finance Minister’s counter opinion.

Dr Prempeh argued that even though some parents want to pay the fees of their children, the government will not relent on its effort to make secondary education free-for-all until every child who qualifies for SHS is enrolled in a school.

“It is not up to me to decide who is rich and who is poor, my main aim is to make sure that no matter the child, that child should not suffer anything that will be a stumbling block… This is not the time, when every Ghanaian child is in school we can have the luxury of deciding who is rich and who is poor and using the discriminatory methods perfectly.”

The Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta suggested in an interview that the policy should be selective.

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“I don’t think it [Free SHS] is something any of us can compromise on”, adding that: “It may be that there have to be changes in the way in which we are administering it.”

“I can’t take my child to Achimota or Odorgonno and then leave him or her and drive away and Ken Ofori-Atta not pay anything while I can pay for 10 people. … You need to get the data to then be discriminatory in how and who pays and who doesn’t pay,” he said.

However, the Education Minister Mr Ofori-Atta’s opinion cannot be implemented immediately.