Report school heads over unapproved fees … Educ Minister advises parents

Professor Jane Naana Opoku-AgyemangThe Minister of Education, Professor Nana Jane Opoku Ageman, has asked parents who have paid more than the approved fees for the Senior High School (SHS) this term, to report the various heads to the Complaints Unit of the ministry for action.

She said, approved fees for first year students in SHS for the 2014/2015 academic year, were GH¢668.50 for boarding students and GH¢355.05 for day students, while continuing students were expected to pay GH¢385 for boarding and GH¢73 for day.

The minister was responding to a question filed by Kwasi Adusei (NDC Ahafo-Ano North), who wanted to know whether the ministry was aware that some heads of SHSs were charging unapproved fees.

Prof Opoku-Agyemang said, her outfit was aware that some heads were charging unapproved fees and added that the ministry, in collaboration with the Ghana Education Service, had put a number of measures in place to overcome the challenges against access to education.

“A committee has been established to standardise the charging of fees in all schools in the country. This committee makes recommendations on approved fees to be charged by schools every year for approval of the ministry,” she said.

She said the approved fees to be charged by heads in the 2014/2015 academic year had been circulated to all the major stakeholders, including the heads in a letter dated September 2. Also, she said the ministry had published the approved fees on its website for the information of the general public.

“Mr. Speaker, we have had cause to direct the Ag Director General of GES to query and sanction heads who were found culpable of charging unapproved fees,” she said, and gave the warning that any head who is found culpable would be severely dealt with.

She gave the assurance that the ministry would continue to enforce compliance by all heads of SHSs until the full implementation of the free SHS education.

Prof Opoku-Agyemang said the ministry had organised several fora across the country with its stakeholders, including chief executives of metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies to, among other things, help to enforce the guidelines on the approved fees.

“The chief executives have also been tasked to utilise the District Education Oversight Committees (DEOCs) to assist in general monitoring and supervision of the guidelines,” she said.

The education minister said the measures adopted by the ministry to ensure compliance with the approved fees had, to a very large extent, reduced incidents where heads charged unapproved fees.

Prof. Opoku-Agyemang also answered questions on when the three-storey staff quarters project at Jachie/Pramso Senior High School would be completed, as well as when the ministry would provide the Atwima Kwanwoma SHS with a school bus.

In another development, the House delivered statements to commemorate the Farmers’ Day Celebration which falls today.

By Yaw Kyei

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