The first batch of students to benefit for the Free Senior High School (SHS) Programme for the 2017/2018 Academic Year on Monday, began their registration processes in the various Government institutions across the country.

The students were expected to report to their various schools of placement under the Computerised School Selection and Placement System (CSSPS), in order to go through the required registration processes and advice, so they could report in a day or two for the commencement of the 2017/2018 academic year.

When the Ghana News Agency (GNA) visited the Accra Girls Senior High School at about 0800 hours this morning, the school authorities led by Mrs Joyce Acolatse, the Headmistress, and assisted by some teachers, as well as the administrative staff, were actively attending to the new students.
The School Authorities had also displayed the list of admitted students on its notice board for easy access by the prospective students and their parents to ensure a smooth registration process.

Mrs Acolatse, in an interview with the GNA, said the process had been a smooth one, but advised parents to be patient, and allow the authorities to handle their wards, assuring them that all the students placed under the CSSPS would be attended to. She said to ensure a smooth and quick process, different tables had been set with attendant teachers to handle the registration of each of the five programmes offered by the school. The programmes are General Science, General Arts, Business, Home Economics, and Visual Arts.

On the issue of imbursement of Funds by the Government, she explained that although the funds were yet to hit the School’s account, the School had gone through all the necessary procedures and was hopeful that the monies would be received in due time. She also explained that although the students were to report to school today, due to the delay in the supply of stationary and uniforms, some laxity had been given to those who were not ready, to return in a day or two.

Mr Ebenezer Nii Narh Martey, the Member of Parliament for the Ablekuma Central, whose ward had gained placement to the School, expressed satisfaction and commended the authorities for the smooth conduct of the process.

He also commended the Government for delivering on its word to roll out the Free SHS programme as scheduled, and advised parents to take good advantage of the programme and support their children’s education, by providing for those other basic needs that were not covered under the free SHS. Other parents who pleaded anonymity, for fear of being tagged politically, expressed their gratitude to the Government for the programme, which they stated would ease their financial burden. They confirmed that they had not been requested by the school

authorities to pay any amount for the registration or any other process.

However, a couple of parents who granted interviews with the GNA under the same conditions, said they were not happy about their wards not being given boarding facilities as they had requested for, and hoped to talk through with the school authorities for redress.

The Free SHS program is a long-held campaign promise by the New Patriotic Party that seeks to increase enrolment in schools by removing the burden of all major mandatory fees from parents and making it a responsibility of the Government.

The relief would cover tuition fees, admission fees, library fees, science centre fees, computer laboratory fees, examination fees, and utility fees.

Additionally, there would be free textbooks, free boarding and free meals and day students would get a meal at school for free.

The policy would also cover agricultural, vocational and technical institutions at the high school level.

An estimated 1.6 million eligible students between the ages of 15 and 17 years across the country, are expected to benefit from the Policy.

The President would officially launch the Policy at the West African Senior High School, on Tuesday, September 12.

Source: GNA/NewsGhana.com.gh

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