The Akufo-Addo-led government’s flagship programme Free Senior High School begins today, Monday 11 September as first-year students who were successfully placed in various SHSs report officially.
The placement into SHSs has been fraught with hitches this year with several thousands of prospective students still struggling to get admission.
Meanwhile, Deputy Finance Minister, Abena Osei-Asare, has given assurance that government is ready to disburse the funds needed to allow the smooth implementation of the programme.
She said the Ministry had finalised preparations to credit the accounts of 647 public SHS and was waiting for the Ministry of Education to provide them with the numbers of students in each of those schools.
“We have a list of all the 647 schools and all their account numbers…Latest by close of day [Friday] all the schools will be credited with the amounts that they need to roll out the policy,” she stated.
Mrs Osei-Asare announced this at the 57th Annual General Meeting of the Ghana Employers Association held in Accra on Thursday.
She said government, in consultation with the Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS), had agreed to provide 50% of the amount needed for the rolling out of the policy, instead of the 20 percent initially decided.
In line with this, government will disburse GH¢280million of the total GH¢480 million needed to implement the policy in this academic year.
She also entreated banks, some of whom were represented at the AGM, to ensure that they notified the schools as soon as the accounts were credited.
Mrs Osei-Asare urged Ghanaians to detach politics from the implementation of the policy and embrace it as a social intervention that would allow all Ghanaians to have access to basic education up to the senior high school level.
“We need your support. Let’s not look at it as a political thing but as social justice…yes the NPP government; President Akufo-Addo will be credited with it but at the same time let us look at the social aspect, and that is, we are giving everybody, not just the rich, the opportunity to get at least, basic education,” she stated.
This, she said, will help to improve labour skills in the country.