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It’s unfortunate Free SHS Bill lacks stakeholder consultation – Minority

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The Minority in Parliament has expressed disappointment over the perceived lack of extensive stakeholder consultation and input on the impending Free Senior High School (SHS) Bill.

The Free SHS Bill, 2024, is slated for a Cabinet debate this week. The bill, currently being drafted by the Ministry of Education (MoE), seeks to provide legal support to the provision of free and compulsory education at the senior high school (SHS) level.

Last Friday, the Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, shared that the bill would also propose the separation of junior high school (JHS) from basic school and integrate it into secondary school, thereby extending secondary education to six years.

Another proposal of the bill, as shared by the minister, was the removal of the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) as a prerequisite for gaining admission to the secondary level. Instead, it would be utilized for school selection purposes.

Education think tank, Africa Education Watch, has indicated that it has not been consulted on the bill.

In an interview with Selorm Adonoo on Eyewitness News on Citi FM on Monday, Dr Clement Apaak, deputy Ranking Member, of Parliament’s Education Committee indicated that it was unfortunate that there had not been any stakeholder consultation on the bill for inputs to be made.

“It is unfortunate that such a bill has not been subjected to rigorous stakeholder consultation and inputs. I think that is most unfortunate even as we wait to see the bill and examine its content in full so that we can see whether it meets the requirement that we all expected or not,” he stated.

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