Free SHS: Optional payment of fees will create classism – NUGS President

The President of the National Union of Ghana Students, Dennis Appiah Larbi-Ampofo, says giving parents the option to pay school fees for their wards under the Free Senior High School Programme will create classism in schools.

Mr. Larbi-Ampofo was speaking on JoyNews’ AM Show where he advised that government should not explore such an option.

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He lamented the level of classism that already characterizes the usual extra classes when some parents are unable to afford the fees.

According to him, treatment of students will vary should the option be effected.

“There’ll be classism. Now there’ll be a different way of treating those whose parents are paying and those whose parents are not paying. Even when I was in Secondary school, when teachers organize extra classes, we saw how teachers treat those who came and paid for their extra classes and those who did not come,” he said.

The Union President admitted that although the option is a “brilliant idea”, the country is not ready for it.

“It’s a brilliant idea but practically, this country is not ready for that. Let’s not even go there,” he added.

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He also warned that a resort to the option would “run this country into an apartheid system of a sort where people who pay for Free SHS are treated in a different way.”

The Free SHS programme has been subjected to persistent criticism lately with some people questioning the quality of human resources resulting from the policy.

Reports indicate a deficit in school infrastructure to accommodate the huge number of students under the programme.

Meanwhile, individuals and organizations have called on the government to review the policy in order to cut down on the huge sums of money being channelled into the programme.


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