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World Bank,Saudi Arabia join gov't free SHS bandwagon

The government has revealed, the World Bank and the Saudi government will be funding efforts to provide comprehensive free Senior High School education.

Education Minister, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh said this at a news conference in Accra Thursday, that the World Bank will provide $40m to support low-performing schools.

Concessionary funds will be sourced from the Saudi government to construct 42 model schools, he said. Prior to the 2016 elections, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) then in opposition, campaigned heavily on the mantra of free SHS if voted into government. 

The Minister told the journalists free SHS is not simply about "money, money, money".

He said it is a comprehensive policy that addresses not only access but quality, equity and employability of SHS graduates.

Explaining a feature of the plan to address quality, the Education Minister mentioned $40m financing from the World Bank which will target schools and students in low-performing districts.

"We have enough places to put almost all our BECE students. That is not the problem. The problem is that some schools are failing and failing so bad [that] nobody wants to go there".

Through the Secondary Education Improvement Project (SEIP) about 75 schools in 100 districts will get help through improving facilities, providing bursaries to needy students and providing educational supplies to enhance teaching and learning.

Dwelling on quality, he said the government has also inaugurated the National Council for Curriculum Assessment (NACCA) headed by Professor Kwame Osei Kwarteng.

The council will review the syllabi of the various subjects and also assess the process for selecting teaching and learning materials for the basic and secondary levels.

The Minister also stressed a student stands to benefit from free SHS once placed in a school by the Computerised School Selection Programme.