Yaw Osafo-Maafo, a top adviser to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has assuaged some Ghanaians’ concerns over the “Free SHS” policy.
He stated that Ghana’s current bailout negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will have no impact on the popular policy.
He stated during an event in Accra on Monday, October 10, that ongoing negotiations will have no effect on the program or social interventions in the education sector in general.
“If there is any sector that we should not touch the expenditure, that sector is education. Because we are protecting the potential use of our resources in a very efficient and effective manner.
“So, if you touch education, you are undermining your own development paradigm. So, that is not the area to go when you decide to cut expenditure,” he stressed.
On the Free SHS policy, he pointed out how political opponents “fan their support base by pointing out the amount of money the government will save if the Free SHS is abolished.
“People have written and I have read in the papers arguing that one of the first things IMF should look at as they admit us into the IMF programme is to cut the Free SHS. Let me tell you here and now, we are negotiating with the IMF and Free SHS will not be touched, we cannot touch it,” he stressed.
He went on to say that the IMF was pro-poor, and that free high school education was a social intervention that was enjoyed throughout the Western world.
“The IMF itself as an institution is pro-poor, the IMF itself believes in education so how can IMF ask you to cut Free SHS? Don’t you have Free SHS in America, don’t you have Free SHS in Germany, don’t you have it in Europe?
“Most of the developed world has Free High School, so we are taking the right path towards development and I can assure you that the IMF will not touch the Free SHS,” he stated.
The Free SHS initiative has recently gained prominence, as the government seeks a program with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the midst of an economic downturn.
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