GH¢800 million spent on free SHS

BY: Musah Yahaya Jafaru
Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, Deputy Minister of Education
Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, Deputy Minister of Education

The government has spent GH¢800 million to fund the free senior high school (SHS) education policy during the first year of its implementation in the 2017/2018 academic year.

A Deputy Minster of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, told Parliament yesterday that GH¢400 was spent in the first term, which included the payment of school fees.

He said GH¢209 million was expended in the second term and another GH¢209 million would be spent in the third term.

Dr Adutwum said GH¢600 million had been earmarked for the first term of the 2018/2019 academic year, which would begin in September, this year.

He said GH¢400 million would be spent on the fresh students and GH¢200 million would be used for the continuing students.

The implementation of the free SHS programme began with the enrolment of about 361,771 students in the 2017/2018 academic year.

Dr Adutwum gave this information in response to a question posed by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Mion, Mr Mohammed Abdul-Aziz, as to how much the government had so far spent on the implementation of the free SHS education programme.

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Dr Adutwum, who is also the MP for Bosomtwe, affirmed the government's commitment to the implementation of the free SHS education programme.

He said the government would continue to make funds available for the success of the programme, which included increased enrolment in schools.

The free SHS education policy was one of the key campaign promises of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the 2016 election.

Sexual harassment

Answering a question on the causes of the high rate of sexual harassments in some basic and SHS from the MP for Amenfi West, Mr Eric Afful, Dr Adutwum said the Ministry of Education had received 26 cases of alleged sexual harassments in selected SHSs across the country.

He said investigations were underway on almost all the cases by the Ghana Education Service (GES).

He added that some of the reports had been reviewed and that final decisions were pending before the GES Council for approval so that they could be enforced.

"The GES is determined to evoke the severest of sanctions to serve as deterrence to staff in cases which would be established," he said.