Provision of furniture to boost the government’s implementation of the Free Senior High School (SHS) programme is estimated at about GH¢80 million, the Minister of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku-Prempeh has said.
He made this known to journalists after appearing before Parliament on Tuesday.
According to Dr Opoku-Prempeh, government acknowledges the various challenges facing the programme and gave the assurance that government was working to get them resolved.
“We are not oblivious of the challenges and stress this free SHS is bringing. This is a government that acknowledges that and we will deal with it,” he said.
He noted however that the introduction of the programme would not be a panacea to problems exiting with the education sector prior to the introduction of the free SHS policy.
“Some parts of this country have enjoyed free secondary education. Have all access problems in those areas been solved? For 50 years, people have enjoyed partial free scholarship in the Northern Region. Have we finished building schools in that part of the country? Have we finished supplying furniture in that part of the country?”
“Let’s not feel and be led to believe that the scholarship will necessarily solve every problem. The scholarship is about solving the problem of access, financial access,” the Minister said.
To address the infrastructure challenges, he said that “there are emergency interventions that are ongoing in acquiring furniture, bunk beds and things like that.”
Every school has made known its deficit gap to the government, according to Dr. Opoku-Prempeh, and added that “when we talk about the Free SHS furniture challenge alone, it is about GHc 80 million [that has been allocated].”