Hundreds Of Parents, Wards Stranded As Free SHS Programme Begins

Hundreds of parents and first year students have been left stranded and frustrated in some Senior High Schools in their quest to enroll.

September 11 marks the reopening of Second Cycle Institutions and the commencement of the free SHS implementation. But this first day has been fraught with difficulties.

Some parents who brought their wards to Nungua SHS expressed their frustrations to GBC’s Radio Ghana.

Monday, September 11, 2017 marks the start of the Free Senior High School Policy.

Free SHS was a major campaign promise of the NPP. Clearly, a lot of work has been done by the authorities to ensure the policy takes off successfully.

Under this programme, government will fund the total cost of fees for fresh students in public Senior High Schools nationwide from the 2017/2018 academic year and subsequent years.

The PRO of the Ghana Education Service, Rev. Jonathan Bettey has explained that the current difficulties with the admission of first year SHS students may be due to a delay in the release of the list of students placed in each of the schools.

Rev. Bettey however, gave the assurance that schools which have not yet received their list will get it soon.

He asked parents and students to remain calm.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh has warned Head Teachers of Senior High Schools against charging first year students fees.

Dr. Opoku Prempeh said any Head Teacher found charging fees will be dealt with appropriately.

He said all grants will be paid to all Senior High Schools including schools for the deaf and blind to begin the new academic calendar.

In a related development, the Executive Secretary of the Coalition of Private Schools, Dr. Simon Gbene says it is pre-mature to ask government to extend the free SHS policy to private schools.

Government should be given time to perfect the system in public schools.

Dr. Gbene however admits that the policy will have some effect on the private sector in terms of enrolment.