Over one million new students are expected to enrol in the Free Senior High School (SHS) programme promoting free education in Ghana for the next academic year beginning in September 2019.
Ghanaian president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo revealed this expectation from free secondary education in Ghana during the 4th Congregation of the University of Energy and National Resources (UENR) last Saturday.
In his speech, President Akufo-Addo said the Free Senior High School programme – which started in 2017 – would now have full-grown enrolment in September. He stressed that the scheme would cover SHS1 to SHS3.
“This intervention,” he stated, “will provide increased opportunities for our young people to further their education, pursue their dreams and ultimately contribute their quota to the development of our country.”
He added that something needed to be done about the significant number of Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) projects that had come to a standstill.
The scheme has been welcomed by parents, especially those who could not pay their children’s school fees at secondary level.
Free education in Ghana a long-term investment
President Akufo-Addo says that the free SHS policy is a long-term investment policy and that the benefit would be reaped in the future.
The policy was devised to ensure access to quality skills development and therefore infrastructure expansion.
The Daily Guide Newspaper quoted the president as saying that his administration has created 43% access enrolment at the senior high school level.
However, the government has cut down the entry requirement from aggregate 36 to 25, meaning that students who fail to aggregate 25 will not be admitted to SHS or benefit from the policy.
The Commissioner of Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has announced that beneficiaries of the scheme will pay higher tax when they begin to work. He explained that free SHS education is a ‘long-term investment’ by the government.
In his speech on Saturday, President Akufo-Addo observed that about 1.2 million students would be in high schools across the country – the largest number of students enrolled in the country’s history.
Hari is the Managing Editor of Global Education Times. Hari has clocked nearly a decade working as a communications professional with a focus on the education sector. He has also had stints in journalism and advertising in a career which has seen him live, study, and work, in three countries.
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