Information gathered indicates that about 30% of students benefitting from Ghana’s Free Senior High School programme are no Ghanaians.
This statement which emerges from the Ghana Union of Traders Association indicates that these students are from the neighboring countries like Burkina Faso, Togo, Mali, Niger, Liberia, Cote, Gambia and Guinea.
This implies that Ghana is using a huge chunk of revenue from its natural resources to train foreign nationals who have access to State funded Senior High School.
These activities, according to GUTA, puts a huge burden on the Ghanaian tax payer hence the call for speedy implementation of the National Identification Scheme, which is believed would help distinguish none Ghanaians from Ghanaians. GUTA has therefore rendered an unflinching support for the implementation of the National Identification Card system to help distinguish non Ghanaians from the indigenes.
There is also a suggestion that a system should be developed for non-Ghanaians who qualify for SHS to pay their fees and not rely on state funds.
Implementation of the free Senior High School (SHS) education policy began in September 2017 The program started with first year students in all public SHSs and Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) institutions across the country. The free SHS policy implies the absorption of all approved fees charged to students in public SHS and TVET Institutions. Under the free SHS/TVET policy, Day students are benefitting from a fully-sponsored scholarship package of GH₵ 648.47, while Boarders are benefiting from GH₵ 1,002.47 annually in addition to free textbooks and other learning materials. On eligibility, the law said a Ghanaian student is qualified to access free SHS only if he/she writes 2017 BECE and is placed by Computerized School Selection and Placement System (CSSPS) into a Public-funded second cycle institution, The Ghana Card project, which seeks to modernize and formalize the Ghanaian economy, was one of the campaign promises of the New Patriotic Party. Government has said it will in the establishment of a credible national database and serve as the primary ID card that citizens will use to access all services in the country, including travelling within the West African sub-region.
By Adu Koranteng