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GNAT not sure about Nana Addo’s free SHS

The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) is not sure of a smooth start of the government’s free senior high school programme as issues relating to funds are yet to be taken care of.

The Association said the Ministry of Education has not been able to make available funds for the schools ahead of the arrival of fresh students.

“You know that in this particular package as soon as the students report you have to make sure they are accommodated, [and] are made comfortable in terms of feeding so a certain percentage [say] 20 or 30 could be released,” Acting GNAT President, Philippa Larsen told Accra-based Joy FM.

The government has announced that the free SHS programme will start in September 2017 with first year students.
By free SHS, there will be no admission fees, no library fees, no science centre fees, no computer laboratory fees, no examination fees, and no utility fees. There will be free textbooks, free boarding and free meals and day students will get a meal at school for free.

The president, Nana Akufo-Addo on Thursday unveiled a logo for the Free SHS, indicating the government’s readiness for the programme.

But GNAT is doubting the preparedness of the government as some funds are yet to be released to schools to take care of things that will be needed.
Meanwhile, the programme Coordinator, William Darkwah said that some funds would be made available to the schools but not the entire package.
He explained that the Free SHS Secretariat wants to be convinced about the number of students the schools admit before all the money needed would be disbursed.

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