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Govt pumps GH¢3.2 billion into Free SHS

BY: Elizabeth Nyaadu Adu
The implementation of the Free SHS has provided unparalleled access to secondary education
The implementation of the Free SHS has provided unparalleled access to secondary education

The government has invested an amount GH¢3.2 billion in the implementation of the Free Senior High School (Free SHS) Programme since inception in 2017, the Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, has said.

That, he said, had benefited over 1.2 million teenagers who were now schooling with access to better opportunities in life.

Presenting the mid-year review of the 2020 Budget in Parliament on July 23, Mr Ofori-Atta said the implementation of the Free SHS had saved parents and families over GH¢2.2 billion adding that “that is money in the pocket of Ghanaians and an investment by the State for every family in this country.”

Free Senior High School Programme (Free SHS)

“The Free SHS Programme, which was successfully rolled out at the beginning of the 2017/18 academic year in September 2017 in all public senior high schools and technical/vocational institutes under the Ghana Education Service, is currently in its third year of implementation,” he said.

He said the implementation of the Free SHS had provided unparalleled access to secondary education adding that “the programme currently has the full complement of beneficiaries with three streams or cohorts of students benefiting”.

“Total enrolment as at the 2016/17 academic year was 813,443. Currently, enrolment stands at 1,199,750 students,” he said.    

Infrastructure projects
Mr Ofori-Atta said the government had commenced 822 infrastructure projects in existing SHS across the country to increase enrolment of students.

Those projects, he said, comprised classroom blocks, dormitories and toilet blocks.

He added that a total of 266 structures had been completed while the rest were at various stages of completion.

Teacher Trainee Allowances
To make colleges of education freely accessible to all eligible students and train teachers for the provision of quality education, the minister said the government had restored the payment of teacher trainee allowances.

He said a total of GH¢432,680,458.00 was paid as teacher trainee allowances from 2017 to date.