GNAT welcomes gradual implementation of free SHS policy

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The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has backed government’s plan to gradually implement its free Senior High School (SHS) policy as outlined in its 2017 budget.

The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has backed government’s plan to gradually implement its free Senior High School (SHS) policy as outlined in its 2017 budget.

According to the union, the decision is hinged on the unavailability of resources and views the decision as prudent. Government will this year, make SHS education free for first year students with a GHc400 million budget and will make it free for the other levels in the subsequent years.

The decision has however attracted a heated response from the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) who argued that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) promised to implement the policy en bloc and not in phases.

Meanwhile, speaking to Citi News the General Secretary of GNAT, David Ofori Acheampong said he sees nothing wrong with the gradual implementation of the policy.

“The issue is that the one who is in charge of the national budget has to determine if the state has enough resources to roll all students en bloc. If our resources are unable to meet that and they believe that they can start with the first year and roll them gradually until the next three years where the whole scheme will cover all students, we don’t have a problem with it. Because it is the resources available that is important,” he added.

Free SHS must target needy students In a related development, the Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition has argued that the free SHS policy must target students who really need financial assistance.

The Coalition argued that, there is a huge funding deficit per government’s budget, and implementing the policy to cover every student may result in more dire consequences on the country’s coffers.