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Free SHS not under review – Minister

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Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance, said the government was not reviewing the Free Senior High School and Technical and Vocational Education Training Programme.

“We will continue to fund and improve programs. We will not compromise on President Akufo-Addo’s promise to give all our children the opportunity to be educated from Kindergarten to University, regardless of ability to pay,” he stressed.

This is against media reports that the government is considering reviewing the programs due to economic challenges facing the country.

Presenting this year’s mid-year review budget statement in Parliament, Mr. Ofri-Atta rejected such suggestions and said the government has invested GH¢5.3 billion to enable 1,261,495 Ghanaian children to access secondary education under the free SHS program by the end of 2021. Improving access to education.

He said 555,353 out of 571,892 registered junior high school candidates, representing 97.1 percent, were placed in SHS in 2022.

The minister said the government is aware of the reported challenges in food access and transportation for students at SHS and is working hard to address the challenges.

“In response, we have engaged stakeholders and developed a program that ensures schools are not disrupted and our students are well fed,” the ministers added.

He announced that the government had recently completed 17 additional projects including classroom blocks, dormitories, staff bungalows and libraries as part of infrastructure expansion at SHS to cope with the increase in student numbers.

Regarding the school feeding program, the minister said that since January 2022, 3,620,468 students of 10,832 government primary schools have been fed one hot meal per school in the first half of the year under this program.

He said the program provided employment for 32,496 caterers, stressing that the program was an important initiative that kept children in school and provided jobs and income for several people, especially women.

Source: GNA

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