Education Minister Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh (Napo) has warned that the Ghana Education Service Council will deal with heads of senior high schools who charge unapproved fees under the government’s Free Senior High School policy.
According to him, the policy will absorb all approved fees and it would not be right for directors of education and heads of senior high schools to charge extra fees unknown to the council.
Mr Prempeh issued the warning when he addressed regional, metropolitan, municipal, and district directors of education as well as other stakeholders in the sector at a dialogue session on the implementation of government’s educational policies at the Kumasi Anglican Senior High School on Tuesday 16 May.
“If utility money is given to you as the head of a school, do you have any rights to go back and charge utility money? So we‘ll go through all the items that the Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS) already go through with you and the GES Council and government is going to [take up the bill],” he stated.
“If you come and tell me PE kits is GHS50 and PE kits is given to you as a headmaster… and if you have a thousand students and we pay the utility for the thousand students at a cedi each and we pay that GHS1000 and as a minister I hear that you have gone to charge another cedi, can’t I deal with you?”
“So government is going to absorb approved fees and after government has absorbed approved fees and you go and charge unapproved fees, GES Council will deal with you.”
Mr Prempeh further charged the headmasters to reject assertions that Free SHS would reduce quality of education. “If you hear people say Free SHS is going to reduce quality, you have to step up and fight because the person is insulting you. For 50 years, parts of this country have virtually had Free SHS and it has given us presidents and countless number of ministers,” the Manhyia South MP stated.