Gov’t to present free SHS Bill to Parliament - Afenyo-Markin
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Gov’t to present free SHS Bill to Parliament - Afenyo-Markin

The Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, has disclosed that the government is set to present a Bill to Parliament in the coming days to regulate the Free Senior High School (SHS) policy and ensure its sustainability.

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This follows concerns about a possible review of the policy by future governments.

Stakeholders in the educational sector, including the flag bearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Mahama have stressed on the need to engage all parties involved to address challenges facing the policy and amplify the positive aspects of the free SHS policy. 

According to him, the policy’s improvement was not just a matter of debate but an imperative for the development and progress of the education sector.

On its part, EduWatch, has suggested that parents who opt for boarding facilities should cover the associated fees.

At a media briefing on Tuesday June 11, Mr Afenyo-Markin explained that the bill seeks to make the policy more effective and sustainable, aligning with the aspirations outlined in Chapter 5 of the Constitution.

He said while these provisions are not enforceable by law, the government aims to make them justifiable through legislation.

“I’m also able to report that the Education Minister will present the Free SHS Bill to Parliament. The chapter five of the Constitution provides some aspirational indicatives. Those are not justiciable, but once by a policy of the government, an aspiration as a message by the constitution is put into action then to make it justiciable, you enact.”

In other words, there are provisions in the constitution that you cannot enforce, you cannot claim the right to those provisions. The fact that they are there, does not mean that you can apply to the court to enforce those rights. Now when it gets to the point that a government lifts it up to give life to it, there is a need to enact a law to regulate same”, he explained

The free SHS Policy was introduced in September 2017 by President Akufo-Addo.

It seeks to remove the cost barriers through the absorption of fees approved by the Ghana Education Service Council.

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