Free SHS Begins In September

Implementation of the free Senior High School (SHS) education policy will begin in September when the 2017/2018 academic year starts.


The programme will start with first year students in all public SHSs and Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) institutions across the country.


The free SHS policy implies the absorption of all approved fees currently charged to students in public SHS and TVET Institutions.


The Minister for Education, Mathew Opoku Prempeh, made these known when he addressed the media in Accra yesterday.


Mr Prempeh explained that under the free SHS/TVET policy, Day students would benefit from a fully-sponsored scholarship package of GH₵ 648.47, while Boarders would benefit from GH₵ 1,002.47 annually in addition to free textbooks and other learning materials.


Government, he said, would also absorb all fees approved by the Ghana Education Service Council for 1st  year students in public schools.


He said the Free SHS/TVET programme would address inequality and ensure equal opportunities for all students through the removal of cost barriers in public second cycle schools, adding that  there would also be a physical expansion of school infrastructure and improvement in the quality of secondary education.


On eligibility, Mr Prempeh said a Ghanaian student was qualified to access free SHS only if he/she wrote 2017 BECE and was placed by Computerized School Selection and Placement System (CSSPS) into a Public-funded second cycle institution, adding that there would also be 30% placement in the elite reserved for entrants from public Junior High Schools.


In order to increase accessibility, the Minister said, government would continue with on-going SHS projects, upgrade 42 SHS into model schools and construct new public schools, where necessary.


Mr. Opoku Prempeh bemoaned the situation where students were sacked from school for non-payment of Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) dues and cautioned teachers and school authorities to desist from the practice because PTA was an association and membership was supposed to be optional.


He charged parents to play a supervisory role of encouraging their wards to study hard as government played its part of ensuring free education for all students who otherwise would have terminated at the JHS level.


“Free SHS is doable, we are going to do it and it is going to happen”, Mr Opoku Prempeh stressed.


Source: ISD (Doris Sodjah & Aliyah Bayali)


Created: 28 July 2017
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