TWO committees set up to establish the modalities for the free Senior High School programme towards its commencement in September, this year, will submit their reports by the end of this month.
They are the Technical Committee headed by the Deputy Minister of Education in-charge of Tertiary, Mr. Samuel Okudzeto and an Implementation Committee, headed by the Deputy Minister in-charge of Pre-tertiary Education, Mr. Alex Kyeremeh.
The committees are to determine the terms of reference, including the number of students to benefit from the programme.
Francis Gbadago, a Public Relation Officer of the Ministry, told The Ghanaian Times that the committees would submit their reports to the Minister of Education, Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, by the end this month.
According to him, issues likely to be decided by the committees would include those bills under the SHS education that would be made free and absorbed by government.
He said the committee would also consider various scholarship programmes currently under the SHS education, and determine how beneficiaries of such scholarship programmes should fit into the free education programme.
Mr. Gbadago said the free SHS programme would be reviewed a year after its implementation, to determine whether it should also include student boarders.
Prof. Opoku-Agyemang on Tuesday, announced that about 400, 000 day students in public SHS were to benefit from the free education programme.
The move, she said, was in line with the Constitutional provision which required the government to ensure progressively, free secondary education to Ghanaians.
Prof. Opoku-Agyemang, speaking at a Meet-the-Press series, said while ensuring a holistic realization of the programme, stakeholders’ would painstakingly select beneficiaries to ensure success.
President John Mahama on February 25, 2014, in his State-of the Nation Address, announced that his administration would implement the “Free Senior High School Education in consonance with the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.
Article 25(b) of the Constitution states: “Secondary education in its different forms, including technical and vocational education, shall be generally available and accessible to all by every appropriate means, and in particular, by progressive introduction of free education”.
The President said: “This roadmap will be presented to Cabinet for approval and subsequent implementation. Under the guidance of this roadmap, we can anticipate that fees for day students, will be abolished at an estimated cost of GH¢71 million in 2015/2016 academic year.
“The Ministry of Education, following consultations with stakeholders has prepared a report on the roadmap for a progressive introduction of free secondary education in Ghana as required under the 1992 constitution,” President Mahama added.
By Charles Amankwa