AUDIO: Akufo-Addo confesses funding Free SHS hasn’t been easy

By Clement Edward Kumsah
Free SHS

President Akufo-Addo has confessed that a huge portion of Ghana's resources has been invested into the implementation of the government’s flagship Free Senior High School programme.

According to President Akufo-Addo, it hasn’t been easy for the state finding money to fund the programme.

Speaking at a meeting with the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II at the Jubilee House, Akufo-Addo said despite the challenges, the government is determined to sustain the Free SHS programme.

“I know it hasn’t been an easy matter for the nation finding the resources and the determination to do it [Free SHS], but I believe that if for nothing, my period of the stage of Ghana should be identified with ensuring that every Ghanaian child, no matter the circumstances of their birth, no matter where they live in our country, has access to a minimum of secondary school education to be able to prepare them to live in this 21st century. It is a commitment that I have made and I am not turning back on it and I believe it is a commitment now that the Ghanaian people have accepted as part of the educational architecture of our nation,” Akufo-Addo said.

Implementation of the free SHS education policy begun in during 2017/2018 academic year 

The free SHS is meant for first-year students in all public SHSs and Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) institutions across Ghana. The free SHS policy implies the absorption of all approved fees currently charged to students in public SHS and TVET Institutions.

Meanwhile, Government is finalising steps to start the double-track or semester system to boost enrollment under its flagship free Senior High School (SHS) education programme.

The government has since released a list of Senior High Schools that will be captured under the much-touted double-track system of enrollment.

Beginning September 2018, second cycle schools in Ghana will run a semester module as part of moves to address infrastructural challenges brought on by the Free SHS programme.

To this end, some 400 out of the 696 public SHSs have been selected to operate the system.

The schools will accommodate the over 180,000 students who are expected to gain admission into SHS this year.

This, the government says will ensure the fulfilment of its promise of providing equal opportunity for every Ghanaian child to gain access to secondary education.

Per the list, the double intake will bring the total of newly proposed enrollment to 387, 592 students, with 193,796 as the total double intake per track.

Islamic Senior High in the Kumasi Metropolis in the Ashanti Region will have the highest number of intake with a proposed new entry of 3, 362 students.

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