Free SHS students get ‘free’ WASSCE, as gov’t pays GHC 75.4m cost

Final year students in second-cycle institutions will not pay for their last exams as government covers the cost of the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).

The final year Senior High School (SHS) students, and second-year Gold Track students are expected to resume school on Monday, June 22 to complete studies.

The final year students numbering 313,837 are the first batch of beneficiaries of the government’s Free SHS policy implemented in 2017.

” The government will absorb the WASSCE examination fees,” President Nana Akufo-Addo said in his 12th address to the nation on measures to tackle the coronavirus.”GHc 75.4 million will be spent on this”.

Just as final year tertiary institutions resumed about a week ago, the SHS students will also commence and use six weeks for lessons.

Afterwards, they will use two weeks to write the WASSCE exams.

On the other hand, second-year SHS Gold Track students, who are returning to complete their first semester will be in school for just six weeks and proceed on vacation.

All 1,167 SHSs in the country have been fumigated and disinfected, the president noted.

Mr Akufo-Addo noted that measures had been taken to protect teaching and non-teaching staff.

“Each student, teaching and non-teaching staff, invigilator and school administrator, numbering some eight hundred thousand (800,000), will be provided with three (3) pieces of reusable face masks, i.e. two (2) being provided tomorrow, and the third within a fortnight,” he stressed.

He also encouraged parents to provide their wards and children with at least one face covering on their way to school.

In addition, “a total of eighteen thousand (18,000) Veronica Buckets, eight hundred thousand (800,000) pieces of two hundred millilitre sanitizers, thirty-six thousand (36,000) rolls of tissue paper, thirty-six thousand (36,000) gallons of liquid soap, and seven thousand, two hundred (7,200) thermometer guns have been distributed”.

School authorities will permit a maximum of 25 students in each class.

All day students in schools with boarding houses will be resident in these boarding houses, whilst day students, in schools without boarding facilities, will commute from home, and will be required to adhere to enhanced hygiene protocols.

Eating in dining halls will be in appropriate numbers, and no visitors to the schools will be allowed.

There will be no mass gatherings and no sporting activities.

Religious activities, under the new protocols, will be permitted.

Social distancing and the wearing of face masks are obligatory in our schools.
One dormitory block in each SHS is to be used as an isolation centre, in the event of a student falling sick.

Each SHS has been mapped to a health facility, and care will be provided to the sick by nurses assigned to these schools, the president explained.

Through the National Food and Buffer Stock Company, enough food supplies have been distributed to all schools.

“Government is also making available three hundred and fifty (350) buses and eight hundred and forty (840) pickup vehicles to senior high schools that did not receive vehicles in 2016,” the President announced.



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