The Minority Spokesperson on Education, Peter Nortsu-Kotoe, has debunked claims that headmasters of some senior high schools, especially in the Volta Region, are sabotaging the Free Senior High (SHS) Policy.
According to him, it has been established that the number of students placed in some of the schools are higher than the number the schools can actually admit. Therefore, it is not out of place for the headmasters to ask these excess numbers to seek private hostel facilities.
His comment comes on the heels of allegation by the Volta Regional Minister, Dr Archibald Letsa, that some heads, especially in the Volta Region, are working against the Free SHS programme.
Dr Letsa told Ghana Yensom show host, Chief Jerry Forson on Accra 100.5FM on Thursday, September 14 that: “Some heads are sabotaging the Free SHS programme and we know what we are talking about but we are very careful that the government policy succeeds in our region.
“The point we are making is that if there are any genuine concerns about the policy that you think government should address, they should have drawn our attention to it long ago.
“For example, in one of the schools, we realised that a top official of the school has a private hostel so by telling the students that the hostel was full and by charging money, he is turning the people away, then the people went into those private hostel.
“So people have all kinds of strategies to take advantage of the system and we are treating every issues on its own merit, we are looking at them one by one, we are not going to generalise, the investigations are still ongoing but we say this is a government policy and you are an employee of the state; we expect you to comply.”
But reacting to these claims, also in an interview with host Forson, Mr Nortsu-Kotoe said: “Once we placed the children far away, the problem of accommodation is going to arise seriously and I know for sure that some parents will have to look for accommodation for their children wherever they are posted.
“We don’t have to blame the headmaster for now because the money the students are paying for the hostel does not go to the schools.”
He added: “I don’t know why he (Dr Letsa) is blaming the headmasters because if there are facilities for only 200 students for boarding and 300 people have been sent for boarding facilities where does he expect the headmaster to find accommodation for the remaining 100 students? That is the question.
“So he should make an in-depth analysis of the challenges in the schools before he discusses them as sabotaging the Free SHS. I don’t buy that idea from him.”