The government of Ghana has revealed that it has so far spent GHC556million on the implementation of the Free Senior High School (SHS) programme for the 20172018 academic year.

This was disclosed by Deputy Minister for Education Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum when he appeared before Parliament to answer questions on the amount spent on the programme so far.

Dr Adtwum said that “the amount expended so far is GHC 556,998,740 for the first year.”

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He also said that a total amount of GHC584million has been released to the ministry so far for the implementation of the programme.

He added that they are streamlining the system as the first batch of beneficiaries goes to the second year and new admissions are made.

“We are looking very good; the second year, the record is going to be free; so students who are in the first year, when they go to the second year, it is going to be free. When they go through the third year it is going to be free.”

“This September we are going to have two streams of students in the Free SHS system, and it is going very well. We are making efforts to ensure that we accommodate all the students who are coming,” he added.

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Dr Adutwum explained that the first term cost GHC400million because the government paid for textbooks, school uniforms and admission fees for the students.

For the second and third term, the government paid GHC209 for each of the two terms.

“So, if you combine the second and third term, it is almost the same as the first term. It will give you about GHC800m for the whole year; and since this year’s budget captures both the first and part of the second year stream, you realise that the amount is higher,” he explained.

The government budgeted GHC1.3million for the Free SHS program in the 2018 budget to cater for the second and third terms and incoming first-year students.