General News of Wed, 20 Sep 201711
Free SHS: We’ll probe illegal fees collectors – Prof. Yankah
The government will be dispatching “agents” to various Senior High Schools in light of reports of unapproved fees still being charged first-year students under the free SHS policy.
The Minister of State in charge of Tertiary Education, Professor Kwesi Yankah, told Eyewitness News that school heads will be brought to order, as he stressed that schools had “absolutely no business” charging for uniforms.
“We will be interested in getting the details of it, and we’ll send our agents there to find out exactly what is happening, and possibly bring to order any of the principals that are doing this. We need to learn more about the details of this,” he said on Eyewitness News.
“As far as I am concerned, those items have been taken care of, if any principal has any problem or issue with it, it is for them to call the nearest district education officer for clarification,” the Minister added.
Prof. Yankah was speaking after reports indicated that Nungua Senior High School in Accra was charging students for school uniforms.
The one-time fee the government covers under the free SHS policy allocated GHc 100 for two sets of school uniforms and GHc 90 for two sets of school house attires for boarders.
But following Citi News‘ checks at Nungua SHS, it emerged that male students were being charged GHc 184 for their uniforms, while the girls were being charged GHc 175 for theirs’.
A receipt was issued for the amount after the money was paid, as sighted by Citi News.
Beyond the challenges of illegal fees, the poor infrastructure of public schools has been brought to the fore, with the case of La Presby Senior High School being of note.
Citi News‘ recent visit to the school saw first-year students forced to study in uncompleted buildings without marker boards and adequate desks.
In response to this, Prof. Yankah said, to the best of his knowledge, the GES adhered to the capacity declared by the schools, but the option of re-placing the students was on the table.
“We really have to send people around to observe the situation because as far as we are concerned, we are going strictly by the capacities that were declared by the respective schools… it has to be investigated for possible redistribution if it is really true.”