Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, says the government has completed 539 out of 1,119 Senior High School(SHS) infrastructural projects to accommodate the increased enrollment of Free Senior High School students.
He said the government completed 28 Community Day SHSs (E-Blocks) under the Secondary Education Improvement Programme and invested a large number of resources to increase access, expand infrastructure and improve the quality of Technical and Vocational Education Training education.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who is also the Leader of Government Business and Caretaker Minister for Finance, announced this on Friday during the presentation of the budget statement for the 2021 financial year in Parliament.
He announced that the Government had completed a total number of 195 basic education projects in 2020 to expand infrastructure for all children in the country.
“Government has procured and distributed 840 pickup trucks and 350 buses to ensure adequate logistics for the effective administration of schools and educational directorates and distributed 2,000 motorbikes to Circuit Supervisors to enhance monitoring in their line of duty,” he said.
The Minister announced that Government would this year absorbed the registration fee for 416,066 candidates from public Junior High Schools (JHS) compared to 403,878 candidates from public JHSs across the country in 2020.
On the Secondary Education Programme, he said the implementation of the Free Senior High School Programme resulted in increased demand for secondary education with more than 1.2 million students benefiting in the 2019/2020 academic year.
Touching on the Tertiary Education Programme, he said the government would this year pay more than GH¢171.24 million for the first and second semesters of the 2020/2021 academic year to make Colleges of Education freely accessible to all eligible students and train teachers to drive quality education provision.
The government in 2020, paid an amount of GH¢78.85 million to 47,135 teacher trainees in public Colleges of Education for the second semester of the 2019/2020 academic year, Me Kyei-Mensa-Bonsu, said.
He said the re-opening of schools in January 2021 was preceded by a comprehensive programme with the provision of 11.5 million hand sanitisers, 23 million face masks, 62,000 ‘veronica’ buckets, 3.5 million packs of paper towels, and 85,000 liquid soaps to facilitate safe return of pupils and students to schools.
That, he described as a strategic, controlled, progressive, and safe easing of restrictions to prioritise the well-being of children in schools.
“Considering the special needs of our kindergarten pupils, arrangements were made to provide 100,000 electronic sanitiser dispensers, 404,000 gallons of sanitisers and 30,000 thermometer guns for kindergartens before the re-opening of the schools.”