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Margaret Akparibo, Headmistress of Gowrie Senior High Technical School

Free SHS Policy breeding indiscipline schools – SHS heads lament


Heads of second cycle institutions in the Upper East Region say since the introduction of the Free Senior High School Policy in 2017, there has been a disturbing increase of indiscipline among students.

Speaking on behalf of her colleagues at a meeting of heads of second cycle institutions with the outgoing Upper East Regional minister, Rockson Ayine Bulkari, the headmistress of Bongo Senior High/Technical School, Margaret Akparibo, said the high level of indiscipline among students is adversely affecting their academic performance. She warns if drastic measures are not taken to control the situation, most of the students will complete school but will have no use for themselves and society.

“With the inception of the Free SHS Programme, the students, I don’t know who has told them; I never told them and none of my colleagues here has ever announced to students that free [SHS] it means indiscipline is free, be indiscipline. And they said it, Free SHS, no head has the power to withdraw anybody not even on poor academic performance.

I don’t know who stated it but that is what they have conceived and that if they don’t do well, no head can sack them, no head can withdraw any student for poor academic performance. So, in fact, something needs to be done in this direction to help us either than that, we are just pouring water on rock.

Students are not ready to learn, they think that there is nothing we can do once you have gained admission, unless you fall by the wayside, you must complete.

I have been telling my students that it’s my taxes, all the teachers, all the workers, our taxes that is keeping you so it’s not free but it doesn’t enter their heads. So, I want to appeal that let’s do something in this direction either than that, at the end of the programme, in fact, they would have actually gone to school for free because we will not gain anything from them.

We wouldn’t have succeeded in turning them out as any human resource – they will not even be useful to themselves. So we need to look at this seriously and disabuse of their minds that heads can’t withdraw. We don’t take interest in withdrawing; we want good and useful citizens for the future.” He lamented.

Reacting to the concern of the heads, Mr. Bukari said the development is worrying and encouraged the heads to suspend or withdraw students for indiscipline because the country cannot develop with its youth been indiscipline.

“Students cannot say I have come to school, I won’t be discipline because they say everything is free. We are not going to accept that, please, we are not going to accept that. So let’s in our small way, take a decision now. Let’s take a decision as a region. As for discipline in Upper East Region, we want to instill discipline in our schools.” He stressed.



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