Ghana Education Service (GES) has issued out a press statement today Monday 20th of November, 2017 to debunk some frivolous assertions made by Mrs. Cecilia Kwakye Coffie, the outgoing president of the Conference of Assisted Senior High School (CHASS) and also the immediate past Headmistress of Winneba Senior High School on Saturday 18th November, 2017 during the Speech and Prize Giving Day of Winneba Senior High School.
The press statement filed makes reference to some allegations made by her in the Monday Edition of Daily Graphic published on 20th November, 2017. The publication quotes, Mrs. Cecilia Kwakye Coffie as stating that “the major challenge confronting the Senior High Schools is the arrears and subsidies, release of payment scholarships to the Senior High School and the renege on the part of Government to supply food to schools”. The publication further quotes her as stating that, “although the heads of SHSs have submitted enrollment figures and also engage government on several occasions, nothing was forthcoming”.
She stated further and quoted as saying, “school heads are under serious pressure but are unable to voice it out for fear of intimation and sanctions”. She is also quoted to have said that, “continuing students are refusing to pay their fees as they insist they are also Ghanaians and are therefore entitled to free Senior High School education.
However, Ghana Education Service press statement debunks all the assertions made by Mrs. Cecilia Kwakye Coffie. The press statement states that as at January, 2017 subsidy arrears to schools in respect of first term of the 2016/2017 academic year stood at GH₵25,469,885.50 while the progressively free SHS programme stood in arrears of GH₵17,972,658.00. Both monies in arrears have since been paid according to the statement filed by GES. The arrears for the third term of the 2015/16 academic year which stood at GH₵ 8,653,176.00 has also been cleared by government the statement states.
GH₵ 10,128,090.21 for the progressively free SHS programme of the second term of the 2016/17 has been paid leaving an outstanding amount of GH₵7,844,567.79. The statement states that subsidies for second term, together with both subsidy and free SHS arrears are still outstanding and are being processed for payment.
On free SHS funds, the statement states that, under arrangement agreed ahead of the implementation of the free SHS programme of which CHASS was part schools received an upfront payment of 20% of their funds, based on the number of students indicated they could admit. “In any event, therefore, it cannot be correct that government owes the various schools the full 80% of the balance”, the statement states
The press statement states that GES has not intimated any school head and has no intention to do so. It further states that, the doors of GES are opened for feedback as it being the only means to assess events on the ground and improve upon them.
On the issue of continuing students not willing to pay fees as purported by Mrs. Cecilia Kwakye Coffie, GES states that it has no evidence to back the claim that continuing students are reluctant to pay their fees. The statement states further that government has made it clear that the free SHS programme will cover only form one students and that is what is being implemented.