Free SHS has saved parents G.8 billion – Finance Minister

Accra – Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance has disclosed that the introduction of the Free Senior High School (SHS) into the Ghana’s educational system has saved parents G.8 million since its inception in 2017.

He said many parents could hardly afford to pay school fees for their children to attend SHS, however, the free SHS system provided relief to them.

Subsidy for the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) registration, he said, also provided a relief to parents and as well saved parents a total of GH65 million over the last two years.

The Minister made this known while delivering the 2020 Budget Statement and Economic Policy at the Parliament House on Wednesday.

He said government released funds to pay for the West African Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) fees of the first batch of the free SHS students, who would graduate in 2020.

We are confident that as a result of the academic intervention programmes we have rolled up, the success rate will be high to prove the sceptics wrong, he added.

Mr Ofori-Atta noted that another intervention on the part of government at the basic education level, was to double the capitation grant to adequately cater for thousands of children who could have dropped out of school as a result of hunger or go to school malnourished.

Government has also expanded the school feeding programme by 500,000 children, he said.

Speaking on the tertiary educational level, he said, government abolished fees for post graduate medical training in Ghana.

Hundreds of young people could not live up to their dreams of becoming trained teachers or nurses, he said, adding that the restoration of the teacher and nurses allowances enabled them to realise their dreams.

The Minister disclosed that a total of GH357 million was allotted to teacher trainees in the form of allowances, while GH336 million was given to nursing trainees in that regard.

He gave the assurance that government in 2020, would continue with the payment of allowances to a projected number of 54,108 teacher trainees in all public colleges of education and 49,000 nursing trainees in public health training institutions.

Source: Ghana News Agency