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Opinions of Thursday, 8 October 2020

Columnist: Michael Kessey

The future of the free senior high school education

Akufo-Addo's government saw the grievances of the intelligent but unfortunate students Akufo-Addo's government saw the grievances of the intelligent but unfortunate students

Throughout my pre-tertiary education, little did I think about a period in the history of Ghana, my motherland when charging fees at the senior secondary school/senior high school would be a thing of the past.

The large family size coupled with intense financial challenges Ghanaian parents faced contributed to kicking many of my classmates out of the classroom denying them off their future aspirations.

Growing up, we were made aware that education is the vehicle that that could send us to our expected destinations.

However, these ones were asked to step out of the bus without a second thought and their journeys cut short.


The mantra then had always been " if you have not paid your school fee, go home!" The poor students, hearing this declarative alone could not control themselves but had to allow the stool left in their bowels be flushed out off their system.

The strong ones who challenged this decree received the beatings of their life which left perpetual scares on their backs: a situation which made many develop inward hatred for their place of birth.

Out of this hatred, some had to resort to acts tagged 'deviations of society' which ended most of them in the modern dungeon(prison). The remaining few also took to embarking on abrupt journeys which ended on sad note in some unknown lands.


Government upon government took the upper chamber of state, yet none saw the grievances of these intelligent but unfortunate Ghanaian students.

It was taken as normal as though the poor man's son was the cause the father's poverty. Attention was geared towards construction of so called school buildings which later became empty due to lack of accessibility borne out of poverty.

Rather than educating the generation to enable them acquire skills for future infrastructural development, foreigners who had been educated by their nations were used as experts and our own, labourers. Deception, dinning and winning, laughing their voice aloud and mocking the marginalized was their way of life.


Then came The Saviour of Rome. In 2015, the opposition led by the strong spirit of the Elephant threw the biggest challenge ever in the history of Ghanaian politics; bridging the gap between the rich and the poor by erasing all the bills of all Ghanaian senior high school students.

This ideology was vehemently rebutted and thrashed by the then incumbent led by the shadowing power of the umbrella with expressions such as " it is unrealistic, unachievable and unsustainable". These were but few that were used to suppress the elephant's ideology.


Ghanaians sick and tired of the ' we are building building' policies of the of the umbrella and believing in the then anticipated fee free policy, showed the greens the exit and planted in its place the blues with their thumbs in 2016. As though it was a scam, the electorates now have come to attest the Akan adage that " He that chews the shell of the crab must never be challenged when he mentions of chewing the calabash".

The old elephant did it in early 2000's and the new elephant is doing more. The day dreamer has no more dreams and the quick to judge now fumbles with words. The fee free senior high school education has manifested into reality and has come to stay.


Parents no more find themselves wanting over the issues of how their wards tuition and feeding fees coupled with other stationery bills are to be paid: wonders of all times in Ghana's history. The time is come again for a choice to be made. The arguments are heating up day in day out.

Your thumb must decide the fate of this miraculous policy in December 7 this year.

The question at this juncture is, " Are we to support the progression or retrogression of this policy? To the economist, man must make a choice in the midst of many options. I however advise that put Ghana first in your decision and keep your thumb safe. Wait for the follow-up!