7 Reasons The Free SHS Has Come To Stay

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Free SHS stands for Free Senior High School. It is a government initiative in Ghana that provides free tuition, textbooks, and other essential materials to all Ghanaian students who qualify to attend senior high school. The policy was introduced in September 2017 by President Nana Akufo-Addo.

The Free SHS policy aims to increase access to education for all Ghanaian children, regardless of their financial background. It also aims to improve the quality of education at the senior high school level.

The policy has been met with mixed reactions. Some people have praised it for increasing access to education, while others have criticized it for being too expensive and for not doing enough to improve the quality of education.

The Free SHS policy is funded by the government’s Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) of petroleum revenues and the general government coffers or the Consolidated Fund.

7 Reasons The Free SHS Has Come To Stay

There are many reasons why Free SHS has come to stay. Here are seven of them:

1. It has increased access to education: Before the introduction of Free SHS, only about 60% of Ghanaian children who completed basic education went on to secondary school. This was because the cost of secondary education was prohibitive for many families. Free SHS has made it possible for all Ghanaian children who qualify to attend secondary school, regardless of their financial background.
2. It has improved the quality of education: With more students in school, there is more demand for quality teachers and teaching materials. This has led to an improvement in the quality of education at the secondary level.
3. It has reduced poverty: Education is one of the best ways to break the cycle of poverty. By giving more children access to secondary education, Free SHS is helping to reduce poverty in Ghana.
4. It has created jobs: The expansion of the secondary school system has created jobs for teachers, administrators, and other support staff. This has helped to boost the economy.
5. It has improved social cohesion: Education helps to create a more informed and tolerant society. By giving more children access to secondary education, Free SHS is helping to improve social cohesion in Ghana.
6. It has made Ghana more competitive: A well-educated workforce is essential for economic development. By increasing the number of Ghanaians with secondary education, Free SHS is helping Ghana to become more competitive in the global economy.
7. It is popular with the people: Free SHS is a popular policy with the Ghanaian people. A recent survey found that 90% of Ghanaians support the policy.

The Free SHS policy is a major success story. It has increased access to education, improved the quality of education, reduced poverty, created jobs, improved social cohesion, made Ghana more competitive, and is popular with the people. There is no doubt that Free SHS has come to stay.

Challenges of the Free SHS

However, there are also some challenges associated with the Free SHS policy:

  1. Increased cost: The policy has been very expensive for the government. In 2022, the government spent about $2.2 billion on the Free SHS policy.
  2. Overcrowding: The policy has led to overcrowding in some senior high schools. This has made it difficult for students to get the quality education they deserve.
  3. Lack of infrastructure: Some senior high schools do not have the necessary infrastructure to support the Free SHS policy. This includes things like classrooms, dormitories, and toilets.

Overall, the Free SHS policy is a positive step towards improving education in Ghana.

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