The government has set aside GHS200 million to ensure that its flagship initiative, the Free Senior High School, runs smoothly.
A portion of the money will go to the National Food Buffer Stock (NAFCO) for food purchases, while the rest will go to the heads of SHSs for perishables.
The balance covers last year’s arrears as well as extra costs such as uniforms, boarding students’ meals, and one hot meal for day students.
Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, the Minister of Education, who made this known to the media said more information about the payout would be released later.
He said “For now, we are working out how much will be apportioned to each of the areas. The most important thing is that the government has released GH¢200 million and this is good enough for me”
“There is money for the flagship program, which tells you that the government is not broke,” Dr Adutwum disclosed with the Daily graphic while, assuring that more funds would be granted throughout the school year.
There are currently 827,193 second and third-year SHS students enrolled. This semester, a headcount will be done to ascertain the precise number of first-year students enrolled. According to the government, 447,219 first-year students have enrolled thus far.
Since its beginning in 2017, the government’s main education program, Free SHS, has benefited over 1.6 million children as of the end of 2021.
The average enrolment in SHSs has also increased, from over 800,000 in 2015 to 1.2 million in 2021, partly due to the double-track system.
The Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) of petroleum earnings and general government coffers or the Consolidated Fund have been used to fund the Free SHS program since its beginning.