Delayed disbursement: Schools urged to credit food, et al for Free SHS

Senior High Schools in the country have been given the leeway to credit food and other essential items needed to run the Free SHS policy, whilst they await funds to hit their respective accounts. Government announced on Thursday that half of the GH¢486 million budgeted for the policy was expected to be released by the Finance Ministry on Friday. A Public Relations Officer at the Ghana Education Service (GES), Kojo Asiedu-Odei confirmed to TV3 Friday Midday Live with Bright Nana Amfoh that the Ministry of Education’s account has been credited with the GH¢280 released by government. Money would then be disbursed to the accounts of the about 647 public second cycle schools across the country. Schools are expected to be opened to first year students on Monday September 11, 2017 as the New Patriotic Party’s flagship programme, the Free SHS takes off for the 2017/18 academic year. Meanwhile, there are concerns about the delay in releasing the required funds, three days to the reopening of the schools. More importantly, many are worried when the funds would actually be disbursed to the various schools to enable them purchase the needed items to run the policy. But Mr. Asiedu-Odei indicated that there is no cause for alarm as the schools await the disbursement. He explained, as usual, suppliers are willing to provide items to the schools on credit. “There is always a credit line that the schools go with; sometimes if you don’t have money you can be given a month [to pay]. “The  heads have been given all the assurance to go ahead with the normal thing [crediting] they have been doing, just that around this thing time buy the food from the buffer stock.” Meanwhile once the students enrolled in the schools and the list registered on the Ghana Education Service’s data, the remaining funds would be released.

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By Isaac Essel | |Ghana]]>