The Free Senior High School (SHS) policy, which takes off next week, does not replace the Northern Scholarship enjoyed by SHS students in the northern part of the country, Mr Kingsley Agyemang, Registrar of the Scholarship Secretariat, has said.
Mr Agyemang, who stated this when he addressed a press conference in Tamale on Tuesday, said “As far as the Northern Scholarship is concerned I wish to place on record that continuing students in the second and third years will continue to enjoy their scholarships.”
He said, “the introduction of the Free SHS is only coming in as an add-on to rope in other students who hitherto would not have benefitted from Government scholarship.”
The press conference was to enable officials from the Scholarship Secretariat, who were on a routine monitoring and evaluation tour of the region, to dispel some rumours and misconceptions about the Free SHS policy.
Some of the rumours and misconceptions in the region included the fact that the introduction of Free SHS meant the abolishment of the Northern Scholarship for continuing students as well as a central system of procurement, which would require all purchases including foodstuffs to be done from Accra.
Mr Agyemang said the Northern Scholarship would run alongside the Free SHS policy with all students continuing to benefit from the programme.
He said there would be prompt release of feeding grants for beneficiary students so as not to disturb the academic calendar.
Mr Agyemang also spoke about some reforms at the Scholarship Secretariat, which included the computerization of its operations to improve delivery.
He said a new system of payment to ensure the transfer of funds directly into the accounts of schools has been introduced “to not only eliminate cost and the high risk of travelling to Accra to collect cheques but also and more importantly ensure prompt payments of scholarship claims.”