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Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Association of Bankers. John Awuah is appealing to the government to allow individuals like himself who can afford to pay for their children’s school fees at the Secondary level to do so.

According to him, it makes no sense that a broke economy like Ghana should be paying for the fees of persons who can take up the responsibility. In a post on social media, Mr. Awuah said it is about time the state reconsiders its position on the one-size-fits-all free SHS policy.

“If Ghana is that poor and we have to borrow so much to balance our books, is it not wise at this stage to take out boarding education from free SHS? Or better still is it not time to save about 50% or more of the cost of free SHS by making people like me and all others of earnings above a certain threshold to pay to educate their kids in SHS?”. Said Mr. Awuah.

The former Managing Director of Universal Merchant Bank said he is worried about the dire state of the state coffers and wants the government to act fast.

This is not the first time government is being asked to reconsider the free SHS policy. In 2018, speakers and participants at the Graphic Business/Stanbic Breakfast Forum in Accra unanimously agreed that rich parents must be made to pay for the education of their children under the free SHS programme to help save the policy from collapsing or compromising the quality of education.

They were of the view that public funding alone could not sustain the programme, hence the need for financially endowed parents to be allowed to fund the education of their children under the policy which would enter its full phase next year.

While the participants insisted that they were ready to pay to maintain the quality of SHS education, the speakers argued that allowing capable parents to pay for their children’s SHS education would ensure equity and sustain the programme from collapsing under a meagre public budget in the midst of its bulging cost.

They further concurred that a targeted approach to the implementation of the programme would help build a competent workforce for national development.