Free SHS Bill to be presented to Parliament

The government is set to present the Free Senior High School (SHS) Bill to Parliament in the coming days, aimed at regulating the policy and ensuring its sustainability.

This move comes amidst concerns of possible cancellation by future governments and challenges faced by the programme.

Stakeholders in the educational sector, including EduWatch, have suggested that parents who opt for boarding facilities should cover the associated fees.

EduWatch also recommended targeting the policy at children from poor households, using data from the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme as a reference point.

At a Leaders’ Media Briefing on Tuesday, June 11, the Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, disclosed the information asserting that the bill seeks to make the policy more effective and sustainable, aligning with the aspirations outlined in Chapter 5 of the Constitution.

He explained that while these provisions are not enforceable by law, the government aims to make them justifiable through legislation.

“I’m also able to report that the Education Minister will present the Free SHS Bill to Parliament. The chapter five of the Constitution provides some aspirational indicatives. Those are not justiciable, but once by a policy of the government, an aspiration as a message by the constitution is put into action then to make it justiciable, you enact.”

“In other words, there are provisions in the constitution that you cannot enforce, you cannot claim the right to those provisions. The fact that they are there does not mean that you can apply to the court to enforce those rights, they are aspirational.”

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