- The Finance Ministry says it has released over 50% of the funds needed for the implementation of the free SHS
- In all a total of 424,092 students have been placed in 860 public and private schools
Government has confirmed that the disbursement of funds for the implementation of the much-awaited free Senior High School (SHS) policy will begin today, September 8, 2017.
According to the Deputy Finance Minister, Abena Osei-Asare, all that is left for the programme to be smoothly rolled out is the provision of numbers placed in every public secondary school by the Ministry of Education.
She disclosed that the ministry had already credited the accounts of some 647 public secondary schools, while emphasising that she was hopeful the programme will be successfully rolled out by the close of Friday.
The Free SHS policy is one of the flagship programmes of the current government, with President Akufo-Addo assuring on several platforms that it will be successful rolled out this year.
And the deputy Finance Minister has now affirmed that, bar any last-minute hiccups, the implementation of the programme should be up and running byFriday.
Speaking at the 57th Annual General Meeting of the Ghana Employers Association held in Accra on Thursday, Mrs. Abena Osei-Asare said: “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."
It had initially been agreed that 20% of the amount needed for the rolling out of the policy will be released, but the deputy Finance Minister said government has now upped it to 50%, having reached an agreement with the Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS).
She added that the Free SHS policy must not be politicised, saying "President Akuffo 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".
According to her, only a collective support from all Ghanaians, devoid of politics, would make the implementation of the programme a success.
Mrs. Abena Osei-Asare also urged the various banks of the public secondary schools to make sure they immediately inform the school authorities when the accounts are credited.
A total of GH¢480 million is needed for the implementation of the policy in this academic year, but GH¢280million is expected to be disbursed for now.
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