‘Commencement Of Free SHS To Cost GHc71m’

President John Mahama has disclosed that it will cost Ghana “approximately GHC 71 million for the commencement” of the free Senior High School education policy.

He stated that Education Minister has presented to cabinet, the total cost of the progressive free Senior High School education policy and the 2015 budget will cater for the project scheduled to commence in 2015.

He, therefore, denied media reports that the sector Minister is unaware of how the free SHS policy will be funded.

According to him, Professor Naana Opoku Agyemang “was given a job to produce a roadmap for the progressive introduction of free SHS. She has done that job, she has costed it, we know how much it will cost and she has presented it to cabinet.”

The president made this known in his address at the sod cutting ceremony for the construction of the 50 new community-day Senior High School in Nyanoa, near Adeiso in the Upper West Akyem District of the Eastern Region.

Media reports had earlier suggested that Minister of Education had in interview stated that she did not know where government will find the money to fund the project.

But the president indicated that it is his duty to ensure funds are made available for the free SHS to commence adding that “it is not the duty of my Minister of Education.”

The president further stated that persons who are questioning where government will get funding for the free SHS implementation “should wait for the presentation of the 2015 budget. If they look in the budget and they don’t find an allocation for free SHS, then they can raise that issue.”

He expressed the hope that this disclosure “will put the rest any unnecessary argumentation surrounding the Minister of Education” because “Ghana is a nation in a hurry. We do not have time to waste on unhelpful arguments.”