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NDC Kicks Against Free SHS Bill

The Opposition National Democratic Congress, NDC is preparing grounds to fight the Akufo-Addo-led government’s decision to present the Free Senior High School (SHS) Bill to Parliament in the coming days, aimed at regulating the policy and ensuring its sustainability.

This move comes amidst concerns of possible cancellation by future governments and challenges faced by the programme.

The Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, on Tuesday, disclosed the information asserting that the bill seeks to make the policy more effective and sustainable, aligning with the aspirations outlined in Chapter 5 of the Constitution.

He explained that 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. 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.”

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“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, they are aspirational.”

NDC

But the opposition NDC, which sponsored 50 adverts against the Free Senior High School introduction by President Akufo-Addo, then opposition leader says it’s unnecessary to present it to Parliament to pass it.

The NDC MP for Ashaiman, Peter Nortsu-Kotoe, a Ranking Member on Education Committee, described as unnecessary the government’s move to lay a bill on Free SHS before Parliament.

According to him, “there is no need for any law to regulate or entrench the Free SHS programme. As a committee on education, we have asked the previous minister and the current one that we want to see a Free Senior High School policy or document and for seven to eight years now we have not been able to provide the committee with the policy document. If you don’t even have a policy on what basis are you going to pass the law?

“In any case, the constitution has a provision, Act 25 (1b) that secondary education in all forms including technical and vocational should be progressively made free and that is what we started in 2015”

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“So, for this government to have come to office and implemented it as they wanted, I don’t think any Ghanaian has a problem with that. For me, enacting a law as to protect it or whatever is neither here nor there,” he stated.

Speaking on Citi FM, the NDC MP referenced the constitution’s provision, Act 25 (1b), which mandates that secondary education, including technical and vocational training, should be progressively made free—a process that began in 2015.

The NDC MP suggested that the current government’s implementation of the Free SHS policy aligns with public expectations, implying that additional legal protections are superfluous.

credit to Dailyguide

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