The Ministry of Education has dismissed claims by former President John Mahama that the government has only honoured 30 per cent of the Free Senior High School (SHS) payments to the schools. Setting the records straight, it said the government, through the Ministry of Education, made 79.5 per cent central payments and that only 20.5 per cent was paid directly to the schools.
“In order to protect the public purse by ensuring maximum gains through economies of scale, the Ministry of Education, Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS) and the Office of the Minister of State in Charge of Public Procurement agreed to undertake procurement at these levels; i. Centralised Procurement ii. School Level Procurement (to be paid Centrally ) iii. School Level Procurement ( to be paid at the school level) iv. Food Procurement ( School/Buffer Stock),” a statement issued by the Head of the Public Relations Unit of the Ministry of Education, Mr Ekow Vincent Assafuah, said.
The centralised procurement paid centrally are exercise books, textbooks supplementary readers/core literature books, P.E Kits, notebooks, technical drawing instruments (TVET only), technical drawing boards and T-Square (TVET only).
“School level procurement (Paid for centrally), school uniform, school cloth and house dress. School level procurement (paid for at school level) are procurement of perishable food items, food procurement (school/buffer stock), food supplied by buffer stock company to boarding schools, food vendors for strictly day schools,” it said.
The statement mentioned the absorbed fees as fees payable for first-year students such as admission fees, maintenance fees, cumulative examination fees, two sets of school uniforms, two sets of house dresses, school cloth, P.E kits, exercise books, four notebooks and one supplementary/ three Core Literature English books.
“All recurring fees items including and not exclusively examination fees, Library fees, practical fees, utilities, entertainment fees, science development, teacher motivation: GH¢20 paid out of PTA dues of GH¢25 per student yearly. Feeding fees: Three meals daily for boarders and one hot meal for day students. Core Textbooks: Provision of full compliment of all recommended textbooks for first-year students. Subsidies: For all continuing students (Forms Two and Three),” it said.
At a meeting with former Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) who served during the National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration, Mr Mahama said the government had paid only 30 per cent of the funds meant for the Free SHS programme.