About 120,000 Junior High School (JHS) graduates, whose parents cannot afford the cost of secondary school education, would have missed school but for the implementation of the free SHS policy of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government this year.
This was revealed after cost benefit analysis was carried out by the Education Ministry in the country.
Deputy Minister of Education and Member of Parliament (MP) for Bosomtwi, Yaw Osei Adu Twum, disclosed this to the media yesterday in the Brong Ahafo Region during media interaction to explain the policy.
He said that due to the cost of secondary education, about 100,000 JHS students miss school every year.
Explaining the policy, he said all current and recurrent expenditure which students and parents make in all government SHS schools would be absorbed by the government, saying all first-year students in the 2017/2018 academic year would pay nothing.
Parents would not pay admission fees, sports fees, PTA dues, feeding fees, among others.
He warned that any headmaster or headmistress that would collect any amount of money from parents or students would be dealt with severely.
According to Dr Osei Twum, government had already released GH¢400 million to the ministry to roll out the programme come September when schools reopen this year.
He said per the analysis, each day student was to pay GH¢112.00 and a boarder was to pay GH¢460.80 every term for tuition, but all those have been absorbed by the government.
All students would enjoy one nutritious meal per a day.
The Bosomtwi MP explained that the essence of the free SHS policy is to ensure access to quality secondary education by removing financial barriers for parents.
“There is no cut-off point for JHS graduates and all will be absorbed. 30 percent of vacancies in well endowed schools will be reserved for students from disadvantaged communities.”
As part of the policy, government would construct 42 model Senior High Schools (SHSs) across the country to absorb students from the countryside.