Students held back during their secondary education for non-performance will not be catered for in their extra year of study under the Free Senior High School education policy.
This was revealed by the Minister of Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, during a press conference on Thursday.
Responding to a question on the status of students who get repeated per the Free SHS policy, the minister explained: “we said you can carry your free SHS for three years because that is the duration of your study. So if you go to the first year, we will pay. You repeat your first year in year two we will pay. When you get to the second year in year three we will pay. But for year four we won’t [pay their fees].”
This development could again fuel claims the Akufo-Addo Administration is shifting the goal posts on on the Free SHS policy.
There was some criticism when it became clear the policy was to cater students entering high school at the start of the 2017/18 academic year. Critics said this direction was at variance with the manifesto promise of the NPP.
Under the free SHS policy, beneficiaries will not have to pay admission fees, library fees, science centre fees, no computer lab fees, no examination fees and no utility fees, according to the government.
The free SHS policy will also cover agricultural, vocational and technical institutions at the secondary school level.
The absence of a policy document for the Akufo-Addo government’s free SHS policy has in the past been noted as contributing to uncertainties about the timelines, source of funding and scope of the policy.
“Some of the challenges we are dealing with right now point to the fact that, because there hasn’t been any clearly written policy that will guide the Free SHS policy, like most other policies, there is a reason we seem to be going back and forth,” IMANI Africa’s President, Franklin Cudjoe previously stated.