The government has assured continuing students on scholarships in senior high schools (SHSs) of its readiness to continue supporting them financially.
Beneficiaries include those on the Scholarship Secretariat’s database and those benefitting from the Ghana Cocoa Board’s (COCOBOD’s) scholarship scheme.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic in Accra on Monday, a Deputy Minister of Finance, Mrs Abena Osei-Asare, said the funds for the continuing students would be released this week.
There are fears that continuing students on government scholarship would be neglected following the government’s Free SHS policy, but Mrs Osei-Asare said: “The free SHS policy for first-year students will in no way negatively affect continuing students. The government is still committed to ensuring they go through school successfully.”
According to the deputy minister, the ministry had worked out the modalities and would release the funds this week.
Mrs Osei-Asare said the ministry had so far released GH¢280 million to schools, but 20 per cent out of the amount had so far been disbursed.
The money, she said, hit the Consolidated Fund last Friday.
“We have 100,000 students who have not been placed in various secondary schools.”
“The Controller and Accountant-General will release the full amount after the placement ends on September 30, 2017,” Mrs Osei-Asare said.
She said the amount to be released to beneficiary schools would not be the same because those who would enrol more boarders would get more than those who would enrol more day students.
“The figures cannot be the same because the situation is not the same,” she noted.
Free SHS funds
Addressing the 55th Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS) in Ho recently, a Deputy Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, said the government was aware of the challenges facing CHASS and was committed to ensuring that the schools received their funding to enable the Free SHS policy to take off smoothly.
“We have no reason to keep your money since we will not give you responsibility and not equip you to execute same,” he assured.
It is estimated that over 400,000 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) candidates will benefit from the government’s flagship policy.