The Dean of the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) Law Faculty has argued that the concept of free access to various institutions of learning being trumpeted by political parties is not actually the case.
Ernest Kofi Abotsi explained that the public indirectly pays for all the services that are tagged as free.
He was speaking on JoyNews’ news analysis show Newsfile which was discussing the various promises made by the two main parties in the country with regards to the Free Senior High School (SHS) programme.
“To be honest, in reality, there is nothing free. All these things politicians promise are not free because we are paying for them with our taxes and by this reason, we are actually paying for them.
“What we are not doing is direct payment i.e as the beneficiary of these services that have been promised,” he said.
Speaking further, he noted that it would be illegal for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to make private schools free as indicated in their 2020 manifesto.
John Mahama’s running mate, Prof Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang had said the second-cycle schools in the private sector also need to be roped into the national initiative to expand the reach of the policy.
But Mr Kofi Abotsi said, ‘they simply have no capacity or mandate to do that.
“Government cannot source its obligation to a private body,” he said.
He was, however, quick to add that this can only be possible if the government decides to bear the cost for the students in the schools.
The Free SHS programme has been a flagship policy of the current administration which has substantially increased enrollment in senior high schools