President Akufo-Addo has conceded that it has not been easy funding the free SHS programme.
“I know it hasn’t been an easy matter for the nation finding the resources and the determination to do it [Free SHS], but I believe that if for nothing, my period of the stage of Ghana should be identified with ensuring that every Ghanaian child, no matter the circumstances of their birth, no matter where they live in our country, has access to a minimum of secondary school education to be able to prepare them to live in this 21st century.”
However, President Akufo-Addo said he is not giving up due to the challenge in financing the programme.
“It is a commitment that I have made and I am not turning back on it and I believe it is a commitment now that the Ghanaian people have accepted as part of the educational architecture of our nation.”
The President said this when the Asantehene paid him a courtesy call at the Flagstaff House.
His comment comes weeks after the Finance Minister argued that the free SHS programme should be targeted instead of the current wholesale.
“True, it may be that there have to be changes in the way we are administering it. I can’t take my child to Achimota or Odorgono and leave him or her there and drive away and not pay for anything whiles I can pay for ten people.”
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Even though some Ghanaians seemed to agree with him, members of the governing party did not support his suggestion.
The then Information minister Mustapha Hamid called on Ghanaians to ignore his colleague minister.
“You don’t need to belabour the point…the person whose vision we are driving is the vision of the president of the Republic of Ghana and the president of the Republic of Ghana’s vision is that every child who goes to secondary should go the secondary for free.”
“The Finance Minister’s opinion does not stand in the face of the president’s vision. It’s not going to happen. The Finance minister doesn’t have a locus. His opinion is dead…it is not even in his bosom to bring an educational matter to cabinet. It is only the education minister who can, so he can only go and lobby the education minister to come to parliament and there is no cabinet decision that must go contrary to the NPP manifesto, finished.”