Consider extending free SHS policy to private schools – Group

Government has been urged to consider extending its much hyped free Senior High School (SHS) policy to private second cycle institutions in the country.

The Executive Director of Ghana National Education Campaign (GNEC), Veronica Djiagu, said the move will enable students in such institutions to also benefit from the policy.

Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Tuesday, Veronica Djiagu said “those who go to the private secondary schools are those who did not have access to that quality of education so could not make it to the public secondary schools.”

“The call to extend the policy to cover the private schools is something that should be considered because there are some in there who need the kind of support government is providing now, but because it is private, now they are cut off.”

“For now, the policy is going to be rolled out without the private schools, but I think going forward, some considerations should be given. There could be some criteria to identify students within the private schools who should be supported under the free SHS policy,” she added.

The Ghana Education Service is currently posting students who passed the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) across the country to the various secondary schools.

The exercise is currently facing some hitches following the huge number of students accessing the computerized school placement system.

Veronica Djiagu explained that, unlike basic education where parents enroll their wards in private schools, a lot of people prefer public second cycle institutions because they find it “more attractive.”

“When it comes to the secondary level, the public senior high schools are more attractive than the private ones in terms of facilities, teachers, resources and cost. So it’s the reverse of what happens at the basic level where you find private sector being more attractive than the public sector. So for the secondary level we have more people going to the public secondary schools because the quality there is better than the private schools.”

There are close to 1,000 secondary schools in Ghana.

Of the number, 562 are public, while the 301 are private schools.

Statistics available suggest that, whereas over 740,000 students gain access to public secondary schools, only 1,300 go to the private ones.

By: Godwin Akweiteh Allotey/

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