Dr Osei Adutwum
Most of the Senior High Schools (SHS) across the country are yet to receive their funding allocation for the Free SHS programme despite the commencement of academic activities yesterday.
The Free SHS education, a flagship programme of the government took off yesterday with the admission of first year students who form the first batch of beneficiaries.
The Ministry of Education indicated on Friday that 20 per cent of the Free SHS funds have been disbursed to the schools.
But checks by the Ghanaian Times from the heads of schools yesterday indicated that the schools were yet to receive the funds.
In an interview with the Ghanaian Times, Psalm Gyebi, General Secretary, confirmed that the schools were yet to take delivery of the funds, adding that CHASS was not aware of any school receiving the money.
He said usually with regards to releases from government, it takes a bit of time for the processes to take effect and was confident the money would hit the accounts of the schools in the next few days.
“The problem now is the processes that have to be duly followed before we get access to the money. It is usually so when it comes to financial releases from government but we’re confident it will be available in the next few days,” he stressed.
Mr Cyril Kwadzo Dadey, headmaster of St. Thomas Aquinas SHS in Accra said his outfit was yet to receive notification from the bank regarding payment into their account while other school heads indicated to the Ghanaian Times that the funds were yet to be received.
Students admitted to the various schools, as announced by Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, Deputy Minister of Education in-charge of SHS, would not be required to pay any money to the school or be sacked from school for non-payment of any fees.
“PTA, levies, fees and utilities, development levy and even teacher motivation is going to be paid by the government. As a result we’ve made it abundantly clear to our headmasters that money should not be the reason a student must not go to school and no parent should receive a bill,” the Deputy Minister stressed.
Addressing anxious school heads at the 55th Annual Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS) in Ho last week, Dr Adutwum allayed the fears of heads over the delays in the release of funds to schools, saying that the process to make the funds available was underway.
“We are working to ensure the schools will receive the funds. The Ministry is aware that the programme cannot take off without advancing funds to the schools,” he noted.
By Claude Nyarko Adams
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