An all-embracing committee has been inaugurated by the Ministry of Education to advise it on the implementation of the Free Senior High School (SHS) policy which commences in the 2017/2018 academic year.
The committee, chaired by the Minister for Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, has representatives from 22 institutions, including the Ministries of Education, Food and Agriculture, Information, Finance and National Security, as well as the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education and the Office of the Minister of State in charge of Public Procurement.
Others are from the Ghana Education Service (GES), the Conference of Heads of Assistant Secondary Schools (CHASS), the Computerised School Selection and Placement System (CSSPS), Audit Service, Buffer Stock Company Ltd, teacher unions, domestic bursars/matrons and the Scholarship Secretariat.
The committee, dubbed the “Free SHS Implementation Committee,” is to advise the minister on the way forward.
Inaugurating the committee in Accra last Friday, Dr. Opoku Prempeh explained that the members of the committee were carefully selected from relevant stakeholders to achieve the goal of the Free SHS policy.
Free SHS account
According to the minister, the Ministry of Finance, was also part of the committee because the ministry did not want the financial releases to be something that it will have to fight for and therefore the need to have a dedicated account for the implementation of the policy.
“Under Free SHS, we are not expected to be chasing for funds,” he told the representative of the Ministry of Finance.
He tasked the GES to ensure accurate data information management such that it should have up-to-date data on all the public SHS and the number of students per school.
Dr. Opoku Prempeh said a document on the Free SHS was being dispatched for stakeholders to make inputs on the initiative and possibly incorporate the good ones in the implementation plan.
In a brief remark, the Deputy Minister for Food and Agriculture in charge of cocoa, Mr. William Agyapong Quaitoo, said all efforts were being made to ensure that there would be enough and excess food by the end of the farming season.