The implementation of the Free Senior High School (SHS) policy, has saved and will continue to save the parents of beneficiary students thousands of Ghana cedis, according to Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia.
The Vice President of the Republic, who was speaking at the ongoing 4th National Policy Summit at Tamale on Monday 24th September, said apart from making senior high school education accessible to several thousand more Ghanaian children, the Free SHS policy also had financial benefits for parents.
“The President Akufo-Addo Government has eased the burden of hundreds of thousands of Ghanaians and invested in the future of our children.
“Apart from building a strong human capital for the future, there are immediate cash benefits to the parents. In practical terms, the parent of a first-year Day SHS student is saving GHC 1,075.41. For a parent with a Day TVET student, the saving is GHS1,175.41.
“For a parent with a boarding SHS student, you save GHS2,015.22, while a parent with a boarding TVET student saves GHS 2,115.22” Vice President Bawumia explained.
“Over a 3-year period, a parent with a boarding SHS student would have saved nearly GHS 5,534.43 (or about 55 million old cedis). The savings is about 110 million old cedis if you have 2 children going through the free SHS.
“If you are a small business person or a trader, this is substantial savings that can be invested in your business without having to take a loan from the bank.”
The Free SHS programme, Vice President Bawumia indicated, “is therefore not only helping to educate our children but is also helping families to save and use that savings to invest in small businesses. Free SHS has really lifted a burden off the shoulder of parents.”
Introduced in the 2017/2018 academic year, the Free SHS policy has made it possible for the whole of Ghana to enjoy free Senior High School education, with free meals for both boarding and day students, free boarding accommodation and free textbooks.
The Free SHS in 2017 provided over 90,000 additional teenagers an opportunity to get senior high school education and improve their opportunities for work in the future.
In 2018, as a result of the double track system, 181,000 more students who otherwise could not have access to secondary education have also been accommodated.
96% of students have been placed so far, according to officials of the Ministry of Education.