Government has announced it will absorb examination fees for all final year students sitting for this years’ West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
A total of 313,837 students, who are the first batch of the Free SHS programme, will benefit from the relief package set to cost the state some 75.4 million cedis, President Nana Akufo-Addo said on Sunday while addressing the nation ahead of resumption of academic activities for final year students from Monday.
“For the first time in our nation’s history government will absorb the WASSCE examination fees of the 313,837 students who will sit for the exams. 75. 4 million cedis will be spent on this” he stated.
As part of the easing of covid-19 restrictions, schools from the basic to the tertiary level have partially been opened to allow final years in particular, prepare for their final examinations.
Final and second year gold track students in Senior High Schools are to return to school on Monday, June 22 for six weeks during which the final years will prepare to sit for their WASSCE examination.
It will also be for the gold track students to complete their final semester to be at par with their colleagues in the green track system.
Nana Akufo-Addo said the final year students, who he said are also referred to by some as the ‘Akufo-Addo graduates’, are the first group of beneficiaries of government’s Free Senior High School programme to sit the WASSCE exams.
The programme, he noted resulted in the enrolment of 1.2 million children, the highest such Ghana’s history.
“Let us pause for a moment to consider what would have happened to the 400,000 more students, who have entered Senior High School between 2017 and 2019, without this policy in place,” he said.
The President said his government introduced the Free SHS because the experiences of developed nations have shown that the most efficient way to empower the population and guarantee the future of the nation is by investing in education and skills training of the youth.
As part of the protocols, all 1,167 Senior High Schools in the country have been fumigated and disinfected by the waste management giant Zoomlion Ghana Limited against bed bug infestation and covid-19 respectively.
Other measures, President Akufo-Addo said have been put in place to ensure the safety of both teaching and non-teaching staff
“Each student, teaching and non-teaching staff, invigilator and school administrator, numbering some 800,000, will be provided with three pieces of reusable face masks” the President said.
Two of the reusable facemasks will be provided them Monday while the third will be given within a fortnight.
Despite the provision of masks for the students, the President has urged parents to provide their wards and children with at least one more face mask for use on their way to school.
“A total of 18,000 Veronica Buckets, 800,000 pieces of two hundred millilitre sanitizers, 36,000 rolls of tissue paper, 36,000 gallons of liquid soap, and 7,200 thermometer guns have been distributed,” Nana Akufo-Addo said.
The President has meanwhile directed all the senior high schools to designate one dormitory block each for use as isolation centre.
Also, each of the over 1,100 senior high schools have has been assigned to a health facility within their locality to respond to suspected covid-19 cases to be identified.
“Each SHS has been mapped to a health facility, and care will be provided to the sick by nurses assigned to these schools,” President Akufo-Addo announced Sunday in his latest update on the virus.