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Progressively Free Education is a Constitution Mandate – Prof Opoku Agyemang


Prof. Naana Jane Opoku Agyemang, Education Minister has said the constitution of Ghana enjoins government to ensure a free compulsory universal access to basic education and it also enjoins government to provide progressively free education at the secondary level.
She said this at the Inauguration of a progressively free secondary education committee in Accra.
The formation of the committee was in line with Cabinet’s approval of the Ministry’s roadmap in implementing a progressively free senior high secondary education programme.
The committee is to advice and support the Ministry on the way forward of the programme’s implementation.
The Minister said, “Parents have a role to play in their children’s education and those who are a little bit economically endowed need to continue to play their roles as the state goes in to support those who need help”.
Explaining the role of the committee, the Hon Minister said, their expertise was be needed to help ensure the reduction of the extraneous cost on education and also remove the barriers to education.
According to the Minister, the work of the committee was very important in terms of cost, since the recommendations of the committee would be appropriate for government’s budgeting in the sector to ensure that many are educated and not denied.
The objective of the progressively free education was to remove financial barriers to ascertain that access from the JHS to SHS level was expanded and at the same time see to it that the child was retained in school after gaining admission.
She charged the committee members to ensure that programmes that government would roll out were pro poor to cater for the needy in society.
The programme, which starts in September, would enable government absorbed examination fees, library fees, SRC dues, entertainment fees, science development fee, science and mathematics quiz, sports and culture fees and internet study fee of day students, which would gradually include boarders.
Prof. Opoku Agyemang called on the committee to advise and support the process by recommending roles that the Ministry and directors of education should play as well as roles of heads of schools in the implementation of the programme.
She emphasized that the responsibility of the learner in the progressively free education was important, therefore the performance of the beneficiary should be considered.
The committee was tasked to work on the application process, communication to beneficiaries and data verification and monitoring of the implementation of the programme, noting that “free without responsibilities leads to abuse”.
Welcoming the members, the Chief Director of the Ministry, Mr. Enoch Cobbinah, urged them to fine tune their mandate by working with the head teachers.
The committee, made up of heads of schools, directors of education and technical officers from the Ministry and the Ghana Education Service was divided into two sub-committees are chaired by the Hon. Deputy Minister, pre-tertiary, Mr. Alex Kyeremeh and the Hon. Deputy Minister, tertiary, Mr. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa.

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