Deputy Education Minister, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has stated that the President's announcement of free Senior High School (SHS) education in 2015 will start with students in public schools first.
“Free means that from 2015 all day students in public senior high schools will not pay fees, government will absorb the fees,” he said.
Throwing more light on the President's free SHS education announcement on Eyewitness News on Monday, the Deputy Minister said government will later absorb the fees of boarders.
“Currently we have not less than 430,000 day students, so for these day students they will not pay fees, government is absorbing the fees; for boarders we are leaving the feeding and the boarding fees for now, those two items government is not absorbing by September 2015,” he noted.
According to him, government will take up those items as it progress. “We are hoping that as we progress as the constitution says we will take up those items and then boarders will also eventually enjoy free Senior High School education.”
Mr Okudzeto Ablakwa also stated that in the road map presented GETFund is the funding source. “The 2015 budget will certainly spell out all of these funding arrangements.''
Also addressing the source of funding for the construction of the 50 new community day Senior High Schools, he asked the general public to wait for the full disclosure of the 2015 budget.
“On the funding arrangement for this, the 2013 GETFund formula approved by parliament GHC 70 million was allocated for this; we also in the 2014 formula have also made an allocation of about GHC 230 million and we are also in talks with the World bank,” he added.
President John Mahama in his State of the Nation address last Tuesday announced that his government will implement his free Senior High School education in 2015.
He said the Ministry of Education has already drawn up a plan to this effect.
The free secondary education proposal was made popular by the opposition New Patriotic Party. It was one of their main campaign promises.
It was however criticized by the governing NDC with some questioning the feasibility of the policy.