General News of Mon, 4 Sep 20178
Free SHS saves 120,000 'needy' BECE graduates
Government has disclosed that about 120,000 students who completed their Basic Education Certificate Examination this year would have lost the opportunity to Senior High School education but for the introduction of the free SHS.
The staggering figure, according to Deputy Education Minister, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum is as a result of students inability to pay their fees.
He spoke to journalists on the sidelines of a workshop held at the instance of the parliamentary select committee on education.
According to him projections and statistics from the Ghana education service and the ministry show that between 30-35 percent and 10 percent of students who are placed in the southern and northern part of the country respectively are unable to go to school because they are unable to pay for fees.
"Data is there to show that over a hundred thousand students do not go to school after they are placed because they simply can't afford it. If you go to the northern part of the country it averages between 8-10 percent of students who are placed and are not able to go. When you come to south it is between 30-35 percent of students who are placed in schools but don't show up because they don't have the resources"
"Hundred and twenty thousand would have been the projection for this year and all those students are going to go with the opportunity presented by our visionary leader, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and that is the vision that we are implementing, " he stated.
The Deputy Minister said government in its quest to ensure that education is made accessible has absorbed every bill including PTA levies, development levies, utility fees among others.
"We don't want any impediments, we don't want a situation where a parent receives a bill and because of that the child is at home so we have absorbed every fee".
"If you are a day student and you are in a regular secondary school you get GH¢648 paid for by the government, if you are in a technical vocational school you get GH¢748. In terms of the boarding it's GH¢1,048, if you are in technical vocational, it's GH¢1,148".The deputy revealed.
In order to see to the successful implementation of the program, Dr Adutwum urged the media to play the watchdog role by exposing school heads who may charge unapproved fees.