GES solicits views of school heads to better Free SHS

The Free SHS programme was implemented at the start of the 2017/2018 academic year

The Ghana Education Service (GES) is on a region-by-region tour of all senior high schools to take concerns of heads over the Free SHS policy.

So far, five regions have been visited by officers of the nation’s education regulatory body.

Speaking on 3FM’s Sunrise on Tuesday, Michael Nsowah, who is the Chairman of the GES Council, agreed that the tour has helped officers of GES, on one hand, and the heads, on the other hand.

And they are happy, the former GES Director General added.

Recently, the outgoing head of the Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS), Cecilia Kwakye Coffie, descended heavily on government over delay in release of funds to members for the smooth implementation of the policy.

Ms Coffie warned that the policy risked collapsing if government does not shore up funding for the policy.

But Mr Nsowah said the nationwide tour is not as a result of the comments by the former Winneba Senior High School headmistress.

“This has been planned long time ago,” he told host Winston Amoah.

“We had planned to go around.”

He said even before the implementation, the Minister of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, met heads of SHSs on three different occasions in Kumasi on the expenditure of the initial 20 per cent funds.

Therefore, he was surprised some heads complained funds are not available.

Mr Nsowah indicated that the initial funds were meant to cover some items on the bill such as school uniform and the remaining 80 per cent will be released after signed lists are submitted to the Free SHS Secretariat.

Others will be paid to suppliers and contractors directly.

But he said the tour will help the Service get an implementation guideline to avoid any hiccoughs next term.

This comes after former President John Dramani Mahama called for immediate stakeholders meeting to address challenges of the policy.

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh||Ghana

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