Free SHS, TVET not under review – Finance Minister reiterates

Following speculations about the possibility of the Free Senior High School policy being reviewed, Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta has clarified that government has no such intentions.

Delivering the Mid-Year Review of the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government for the 2022 financial year today, July 25, 2022, in Parliament, Mr. Ofori-Atta stressed government’s interest in human capital development.

“It has been at the core of our national transformation efforts since 2017. We have invested GH¢5.3 billion to enable 1,261,495 Ghanaian children access to secondary education under the Free SHS programme at the end of 2021 to improve access to education. Out of the 571,892 registered JHS candidates, 555,353, representing 97.1 percent, were placed into SHS this year.”

He said government is not oblivious of the challenges in accessing and transporting food for students in SHS and is fixing them.

“In response, we have engaged stakeholders and devised a programme that ensures that schools will not be disrupted, and our students are well-fed. Government has also recently completed 17 additional projects including classroom blocks, dormitories, staff bungalows and libraries as part of infrastructural expansion in Senior High Schools. To deal with the record increases in student numbers.”

He insisted that government will not compromise on its commitment to giving everyone the opportunity to be educated.

“From kindergarten to university, without the ability to pay being a hindrance, free Secondary and TVET education are not under review. We will continue to fund and improve them.”

The Free SHS policy has been under scrutiny because of supply challenges with food items.

As Ghana heads to the International Monetary Fund for support, many had expected that the Free SHS policy will be reviewed.

Source: Edna Agnes Boakye

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