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Free SHS: GES summons school heads for allegedly charging fees

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The Education Ministry has summoned some heads of senior high school over claims they are charging fees exempted under the free SHS policy.

Former Director of Education at the Ghana Education Service (GES) and an advocate of government’s flagship education policy revealed this on Top fm’s Ene Ghana Program Hosted by Ohene Boamah Bennie.
Mr Nsowah did not mention the names of the heads or the number of heads summoned to the Education Ministry, however, he said the summons is a response to numerous reports the unnamed schools have been charging unapproved fees.

“We are hearing some of these in the news and so on. But immediately the Ministry is following up on that. Some heads have been summoned to report to the Ministry tomorrow [Tuesday] morning and if it is true that they are collecting fees, certainly, the ministry will deal with them” he said.

President Nana Akufo-Addo’s 2008 and 2016 electioneering campaign promise to roll out a comprehensive free education programme started Monday with high schools reopening across the country.

In addition to tuition which is already free, fees for boarding, admission, library, examination, computer lab, science centre, feeding, utilities, text books and meals for day students have been taken up by the government.

Apart from delays in the release of funds to schools, some school heads have cited non-availability of a document that details rules on the implementation of the programme as challenges in the implementation process.

Also, there are unconfirmed reports that some schools want parents to support infrastructural projects, and failure to do so may cause their wards to be prevented from attending class.

Responding to the report on Ene Ghana , Mr Nsowah said although the free SHS policy is not against infrastructural projects funded by parents, it must not be to the detriment of students’ access to learning.

“Infrastructural projects can go ahead but you [heads of schools] cannot charge it on students. Parents are adults, and they should find ways of addressing their challenges that they have agreed upon without stopping any child from going to classes,” he told show host, Ohene Boamah Bennie.

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