President John Dramani Mahama

President John Dramani Mahama

Currently fees paid by Senior High School (SHS) students is contrary to what President John Dramani Mahama promised at the Institute of Economic Affairs Encounter on October 18, 2012 to the effect that he will make SHS education affordable to all.

When the little Peace Ambassador, Angela Mensah, asked him [President Dramani Mahama] what he would do to ensure affordability of SHS education, PresidentMahama said:

?In respect of affordability of SHS, we would reduce the burden on parents by standardizing the fees. Unauthorized fees, such as worker motivation fee and all kinds of fees the SHS have introduced themselves would be taken out?  The directive is for the Ghana Education Service to standardize fees to make them very affordable. Fees must be the same in this country.?

However, Today has gathered that there is simmering tension in SHS across the country, as SHS students have unexpectedly been asked to pay combined feeding fees for the first and second terms, which is a very unusual situation.

SHS final year students in boarding pursuing General Arts were billed between GH?450 and GH?920 separately for the second and third term, although they will not have any third term.

A student explained that they will complete their exams in April, but the third term will begin in May.

After parents have made frantic efforts to pay all or part of the fees which included feeding fee, the Ghana Education Service (GES) has asked students to inform their parents to pay additional feeding fee ranging from GH?100 to GH?200.

The GES is charging the additional fees, Today gathers, because government is unable to provide its feeding grant for the students from the first term to this second term.

In Abetifi SHS, for instance, boarding students pursuing General Arts were billed a total of GH? 600 including feeding fee for the second and third terms.  Parents have, however, been ordered to pay additional feeding fee of GH?100, making a grand total of GH?700.

Also, final year boarding students pursuing General Arts at the Ghana National Senior High School (GHANASS) in Koforidua, were billed GH?478 including feeding fee, for the second and third terms.  However, students were over the weekend asked to inform their parents on phone to pay additional feeding fee of GH? 150 tallying GH?628.

When Today contacted the bursar of GHANASS, Mr. Tee, he disclosed that the directive is from the GES for students to pay additional feeding fee for first and second terms because the government did not send the feeding grant.

Even text messages are to be sent to parents and guardians to inform them about the increment in feeding fee, and information available to Today indicate that any student that fails to pay the additional feeding fee by this weekend would be sent home.

While some parents and guardians are shocked, others are enraged over this sudden development.

Some parents of students at GHANASS pointed out that the established practice is to call a Parent Teacher Association (PTA) meeting to inform parents of increases in fees before effecting it.  However there was no such meeting last term to discuss such increment.

?This high increment has become unbearable for us. In fact we have been taken by surprise.  We appeal to the government to do something about it,? said a worried GHANASS parent.


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