However, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, announced on 24 March that the government has no intention to abolish its flagship education programme, Free Senior High School (SHS), despite the economic challenges currently facing Ghana.
Addressing the nation in Accra, Ofori-Atta said: “Let me say this, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has absolutely no intention to roll back on a major policy like Free SHS.”
He added: “We see education as the best enabler for sustainable economic growth and transformation and will do more to improve on it for it to serve more and better our children. All of these measures are aimed at ensuring that we achieve the 7.4% deficit target set in the 2022 Budget.”
The Free Senior High School education policy in Ghana was a government initiative, introduced in September 2017, shortly after the Akufo-Addo government came to power.
Decades of exclusion
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has also argued that the introduction and implementation of the Free Senior High School policy have ensured that hundreds of thousands of young Ghanaian men and women who previously would have had their education cut short at the junior high school level now have the opportunity to further their studies.
The president said that the introduction and acceptance of the Free SHS policy, as promoted by his government, has expanded access to education vastly, enabling young men and women from all corners of Ghana to attend senior high school.
“The policy has reversed decades of exclusion, which denied, on average, 100,000 young men and women annually entry to senior high school education because of the poverty of their parents,” Akufo-Addo said.