Barely three months to the implementation of the policy, the Education Minister Mathew Opoku Prempeh disclosed to Morning Starr host, Francis Abban that only students who passed their BECE exams will have the opportunity to enjoy the policy.
The comment by the Minister is a clear departure from pronouncements by President Akufo-Addo during and after electioneering.
The latest was at the 60th anniversary celebration of Okuapeman School on Saturday February 2, 2017 where he stated that: “Without any equivocation, without any reservation, without any doubt to take Ghana to the stage where public SHS education will be free for every Ghanaian child.”
The seeming retreat on the subject by the Education Minister which was aired on Tuesday’s edition of the Morning Starr courted unfavourable reactions among the general public and Civil Society Organisations.
IMANI Ghana, for instance, described the Minister’s disclosure as unfortunate and a clear example of the “…inconsistencies in policy making, policy planning and implementation.”
But commenting Wednesday May 17, 2017 on the development on Morning Starr, Prof. Agyemang said the mêlée generated by the Minister’s comment was unwarranted.
“…It is rather specifying the rules or the laws that will govern the free SHS policy,” he told Morning Starr host Francis Abban.
According to him, the uproar regarding the Minister’s comment was as a result of government’s miscommunication of the implementation process of the policy.
“After all government is not sacrosanct and it is made up of human beings and that we should rather back them for being sincere before the policy is rolled out,” he said.
That notwithstanding, he charged government to apologize to Ghanaians for the gaffe in its communication of the policy saying “I’ll expect government to ask for pardon for misleading us…first of all let government ask for pardon for misleading the country by saying it is free education.”