Some heads of Senior High Schools (SHS) have been summoned by the Ghana Education Service (GES) for allegedly charging fees despite the successful enrollment of the free SHS policy.
This is according to the former Director General of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Michael Nsowah.
According to him, the Education ministry has moved swiftly to address reports of some heads of SHSs billing parents for approved fees even after the free SHS policy was enrolled on Monday.
Speaking on the PM Express on Joy News, Mr Nsowah said the ministry will not condone such behaviour from school heads, insisting they have already began summoning SHS heads reported to be charging unapproved fees.
“We are hearing some of these in the news and so on. But immediately...the Ministry is following up on that. Some heads have been summoned to report to the Ministry tomorrow [Tuesday] morning and if it is true that they are collecting fees, certainly, the ministry will deal with them," the former GES director said.
The Free SHS policy is the flagship programme of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government led by President Akufo-Addo.
The party campaigned extensively on the project, promising Ghanaians that it would be the first policy they initiate when voted into power.
Nine months down the line after winning power, Nana Addo's government has successfully rolled out the free SHS policy, with the programme kickstarting on Monday.
There were initial challenges with the release of funds to the various schools under the programme, however, the Education Ministry said earlier in the week that that, to a large extent, has been sorted out.
However, there have also been reports that some heads of schools were calling on parents to help with infrastructural development by paying some fees - a move Mr Nsowah believes is criminal.
According to him, infrastructural projects are very important, but that should not be the basis for preventing a student from going to class if their parents do not have the money to pay.
"Infrastructural projects can go ahead but you [heads of schools] cannot charge it on students. Parents are adults, and they should find ways of addressing their challenges that they have agreed upon without stopping any child from going to classes,” he remarked.
Under the Free SHS programme, students are exempted from tuition fees, fees for boarding, admission, library, examination, computer lab, science centre, feeding, utilities, text books, as well as meals.