The Akufo-Addo led government has since the inception of its flagship free SHS policy, spent a whopping GH₵ 3.5 billion on the programme.
According to a Deputy Education Minister, Dr Yaw Adutwum the amount covered the 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 academic years.
The Free Senior High School programme, a campaign mantra of President Akufo-Addo and the NPP in the buildup to the 2016 polls, was rolled out at the beginning of the 2017/2018 academic year to primarily address inequality among students, through the removal of cost barriers whilst endangering quality.
Students who hitherto, would have had their academic dreams terminated at the Junior High School (JHS) level were now assured of functional and employable skills through the acquisition of quality Free Secondary Education.
Answering parliamentary questions on Wednesday, August 5, 2020, Dr Aduwtum gave a detailed breakdown of the funds released to support the programme ever since it took off.
According to him, an amount of GH₵ 899 million was released for the 2017/2018 academic year.
For the 2018/2019 academic year, GH₵ 1.2 billion was released, with the amount increasing further to GH₵ 1.3 billion in the 2019/2020 academic year.
Touching on the NDC’s progressively free SHS policy which was implemented in the 2016/2017 academic year, Dr Adutwum patted the NPP government on its back for their ability to fully settle outstanding arrears left behind by the Mahama administration.
He noted that the Akufo-Addo government failed to pay for the policy leaving an outstanding GH₵ 34 million to be paid for.
“What was being implemented in the 2016/2017 academic year was the progressively Free SHS which had arrears of GH₵ 34,053,798 which we paid when we assumed office in 2017,” he told the House.