By: Ibrahim Nurudeen
The Minister of Education, Hon Matthew Opoku Prempeh has discredited a news item tagging him to have made an emphatic statement that “Only Brilliant Students will Enjoy Free SHS”.
According to him at no point during an interview with Mr. Abban of Starr Fm he state or even imply that free Senior high school would apply only to brilliant Junior high school (JHS) graduates.
Mr. Opoku in a press release said “What I made clear was that starting in September 2017, any JHS graduate who passes the BECE and is placed in a public senior high school will benefit from Free SHS. This has been our consistent position as a government.
My disappointment with the news item is exacerbated by the fact that in a conversation with Mr. Abban just before the formal interview started, I specifically raised concerns about misleading headline on the basis of past experiences. Mr. Abban promised not to be mischievous as others had been, and yet exactly the opposite has taken place in this instance, giving a completely false, twisted and misleading headline to my comments on access to free SHS.”
The worried Minister urge journalists to honour their word and be thoroughly professional and meticulous, as accuracy is paramount in their line of work.
“The media, as the fourth estate, are crucial partners in nation building, and it is important for public officials to develop and maintain a warm relationship with the fraternity. However, incidents like this threaten to mar this relationship as they lead to suspicion and wariness on the part of public officials. That is not a healthy development.”
He further describe the Starr FM news item as lack of professionalism, and further urge management of Starr FM to take the necessary steps to address matter.