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It'll Be Difficult To Absorb Private Schools In Free SHS Policy, But – Oppong Nkrumah   
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Deputy Information Minister and member of Parliament for Ofoase-Ayirebi, Hon. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah says though it will be difficult for government to include private Senior High Schools in the free Senior High School policy in its current form, the possibility of private SHSs in the policy in the near-future cannot be discounted.

According to him, the policy is targeted at public schools who are non profit making institutions.

Some heads of private Senior High Schools in the country have expressed disappointment at the government over the manner in which it has handled its free SHS policy.

The heads, who are having to deal with almost empty classrooms since the programme took off, say they have been completely neglected by government.

Speaking at the press conference in Accra on Wednesday, General Secretary of the Conference of Heads of Private Second Cycle Schools (CHOPSS), Joseph Dzamesi said before the programme was implemented, they were made to believe that their schools had a role to play, but that is not the case.

“We consider the development so far as undermining the contribution of private Senior High Schools in the educational sector. It is as though the government is intentionally trying to collapse all private Senior High Schools in the country,” he said.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Tuesday launched the free SHS policy at the West Africa Senior High School at Adenta in Accra.

But speaking on Okay FM’s 'Ade Akye Abia' Programme, Deputy Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah explained that parents can however send their wards to private schools if they so wish and can afford.

“The free SHS policy does not forbid parents or guardians from sending their wards to the private Senior High Schools but absorbing them into the system to benefit free Senior High policy would be difficult," he added.

He however added that going forward government will consider the issues and find a better solution to their complains.

The Free SHS Policy, a flagship education programme of the government seeks to increase access to Secondary Education by removing the burden of paying fees from parents.

Under the policy, the government would foot all bills including feeding fees, tuition fees and all other charges. Over 142,000 eligible students would enjoy the programme which has already kicked off.
Source: Isaac Kwame Owusu/Peacefmonline.com/Ghana

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