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Feature Article of Friday, 9 November 2012

Columnist: Mensah, Josuah

How Free Is The Free SHS Education

During the IEA encounter with Akuffo-Addo, he quoted the cost of the most touted free SHS education
at GHS 78,000,000 for the 2013/2014 academic year.

Let’s do some analysis base upon the above figure.

Research from the Ghana Education Service (GES) revealed that the total number of SHS students for the 2011/2012 academic year was 721,000. So, if the total number of student revealed by the GES is to be considered, then, for the whole academic year, the amount of money Akuffo –Addo intend spending on each SHS student will be GHS 78,000,000 = GHS 108
721,000
Three months constitutes one academic year. So, base upon the above figures, the amount of money the NPP intend spending on each SHS student per term for the 2013/2014 academic year will be
GHS 108 = GHS 36
3 Terms
In a recent radio discussion on Peace FM, Kwame Sefa Kayi asked the communication director of the Akuffo-Addo campaign team (Nana Akomeh) “How free is the free education?” Listen to his response.
“The free education will cater for fees, books boarding and any amount that is required to be paid by the student including special levies.” So, Kwame asked Nana Akomeah again; “the free education means a student has to just take his/her luggage say bye- bye to his/her parents and go to school? He answered in the affirmative.
Now, per the above analysis, can the NPP’s supposed GHS 36 really cater for an SHS student per term in this modern Ghana? Let’s also consider this;
The Government approved fees for first year first term students in public boarding schools for 2012/2013 academic year is GHS388.84. The fees for Day students for the same year is GHS 152.50
If every term is made of three months, thus, GES approved fees for first term first year student per month for 2012/2013 academic year will be GHS 152.50 = GHS50.8
3months
For a week, the fees will be GHS 50.8 = GHS 12.7 (Assuming every month has four weeks)
4 weeks
This means Akuffo –Addo’s GHS 36 per student per term for his targeted 2013/2014 academic year can only cater for less than 3 weeks of the 12 weeks that students spent at school per term.
(That is GHS 12.7 X 3 Weeks) = GHS 38.1. The above analysis is base on the assumption that all the students are day students.
So, readers, how free is the free SHS education?
BIG JOE (mjosuah @ yahoo.com) 06/11/12

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