Rich Ghanaians must bear the cost of their children’s secondary education, Brigadier General Joseph Nunoo-Mensah, a former Chief of Defence Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces, has said.
In his opinion, the Akufo-Addo government’s free SHS programme, which he praised as laudable, should be limited to the less-privileged.
He told Ghana Yensom show host Kwabena Prah Jnr (The Don) on Friday, 21 June 2019 that: “The rich must be made to pay for the secondary education of their children.”
“I am for free SHS because it affects people like farmers and other poor ones in society and I must commend President Akufo-Addo for this initiative, it is a laudable one.
“But why should it be free for everyone, especially when some people can pay even double the fees of their children? I don’t understand it,” he complained.
On Monday, 23 July 2018, Ghana’s Finance Minister, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta made a similar comment.
He suggested that the Free SHS policy must target the vulnerable. “The issue of free education, I don’t think it’s something that any of us can compromise … It may be that there have to be changes in the way which we are administering it,” Mr Ofori-Atta said.
He added: “I can’t take my child to Achimota or odorgonno and then leave him or her and drive away and Ken Ofori-Atta not pay anything while I can pay for 10 people. You need to be able to get the data to then be discriminatory in how and who pays and who doesn’t pay.
“You would rather make a mistake, if it is a mistake, to get everybody in the system for the nation to then begin to have a conversation and say: ‘Okay, this is good for us because we want our human capital to a certain level but maybe let’s begin to adjust it this way’. But I think the issue of opening up and people coming to the reality about maybe we could do things a certain way is not a bad thing for a nation’s growth.”