Forty-two Community Day Schools ready to admit students - Minister

Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, Minister of Education has affirmed Government’s commitment at building new Community Day Senior High Schools (SHS) as well as expanding the capacity of the existing ones in the country.

She said out of the 123 Community Day SHS under construction, the first batch of 42 schools is ready to admit SHS students for the 2016/2017 academic year, and some even admitted students well ahead of the completion schedule.

Prof Opoku-Agyemang, who said this at the Ministry’s turn of the meet-the-press series, said government is committed to expanding equitable access to quality secondary education and making it progressively free, constructing 200 Community day SHS and expanding capacity of existing secondary schools, among others.

“I am proud to report that, with the active collaboration of all stakeholders, the Community Day SHS project has made significant progress”, she said.

Prof Opoku-Agyemang said the Ministry with the support from the Local Government and other stakeholders is continuing with its ongoing programme to expand classrooms, dormitories and other facilities in existing secondary schools.

“Over 1000 classroom blocks, 180 dormitory blocks, 18 teachers’ flats, 20 science laboratories, 40 water closet toilet facilities and other academic and non-academic facilities have been completed for Senior High Schools across the country between 2013 and 2016,” she said.

The Minister said under the Secondary Education Improvement projects, facilities of 50 existing SHS have been upgraded.

She said in spite of all the efforts to address infrastructural deficit at the secondary level, there still remains a number of uncompleted classroom structures which has brought about congestion in some schools.

She said Government is working assiduously to address the situation.

Prof Opoku-Agyemang said further to the expansion of physical access, the Ministry has also operationalized initiatives, in line with its philosophy as a social democratic party, to reduce the cost of education.

“The Ministry commenced the implementation of progressively Free Secondary Education Programme to make secondary education free through gradual absorption of fees paid by students,” she said.

She said 12 fee items amounting to GH¢162.00 per student per year was absorbed for 320,488 day students in the 2015/2016 academic year.

Those fee items, she said, include Examination, Library SRC Dues, Entertainment, Science Development, Sports, Culture, Science and Maths Quiz, Co-Curricular activities, ICT, Development Levy and Utilities.

Prof Opoku-Agyemeng said the programme is scheduled to be expanded in the 2016/2017 academic year to cover 129,00 boarding students and it is estimated that an amount of GH¢ 85,318,200 will be paid to support 458,700 students in the 2016/2017 academic year.

“All day students, including those in all Community Day Schools are beneficiaries under the programme,” she said.

She said to further reduce cost burdening parents, Government under the Secondary Education Improvement Project (SEIP) is supporting 10,400 needy students, particularly girls to complete a full cycle of secondary education.

“The value of the scholarship is approximately GH¢6,000.00 per student for three years. So far, 5,643 students have received scholarships under the scheme of which 60 per cent are girls.

“In 2013, Government increased the subsidy per student from GH¢64.35 to GH¢92.40 for general students and GH¢65.85 to GH¢93.90 for technical students, for general running of the institutions. This represents an increase of 45.6 per cent and 42.6 per cent respectively,” she said.

GNA

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