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General News of Saturday, 29 September 2007

Source: Ghanaian Times

School Fees Go Up

The government has approved fee increases for public second-cycle schools nationwide to take effect from the 2007/2008 academic year which began on September 11.

The Director General of the Ghana Education Service, Samuel Bannerman-Mensah, who disclosed this to the Times in Accra yesterday, said boarding fees have shot up from ¢712,800 per term to ¢784,700. Day students are to pay ¢33,000 per term instead of ¢31,000.

The current feeding fee of ¢7,200 per student per day has been increased to ¢8,000 or ¢746,700 per term, from ¢676,800 a term.

Mr. Bannerman-Mensah said that fee levels in senior secondary schools (now senior high schools) had for the past three years remained the same despite increases in prices of major food items and petroleum products. A letter dated September 27, confirming the increases, has been dispatched to the Regional District Directors, heads of SHS and principals of Technical Institutes.

The GES has directed heads of schools to ensure that students’ bills feature only items indicated on the approved list. "All other items required by students should be listed in the prospectus for parents to procure for their wards," the letter signed by Mrs Rene Boakye-Boaten, Director of Secondary Education, added. It said Parent Teacher Association levies over and above the approved level of ¢80,000 per term should be authorised by the Director General.

According to the approved list, total fees payable on admission, which cover items such as admission, school uniform, house attire, and physical education kits, have been increased from ¢412,000 to ¢442,000.

Government however maintained its subsidy of ¢179,000 per student per term for stationery and maintenance of office machine, first aid, building maintenance, sports, culture, sanitation, postage, text book use fee, practical fee, tools and maintenance fees, furniture maintenance and utility.

Mr. Bannerman-Mensah, appealed to school heads to be a little flexible in demanding the payment of fees, especially by the parents of the first year students. They may accept installment payments in certain circumstances to ensure smooth admission process.

He told the Times that, the various fee levels have been discussed with the Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS), the Association of Principals of Technical Institutions, the Conference of Principals of Training Colleges and the Domestic Bursars Association to enable adjustments to be made.

In June this year, CHASS appealed to the GES to review the fee levels to correspond with prevailing market prices of essential items such as staple food, fuel wood and petroleum products that the schools depend on to function.