Western North: Over 137,000 SHS 1 students yet to report due to financial challenges



The Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS) in the Western North Region states that about 137,000 fresh senior high school students are yet to report to school despite gaining admission.

CHASS bemoans that although schools reopened for fresh SHS students on December 4, 2023, a little over half of the total candidates placed in schools in the Western North Region are yet to report to their respective schools due to financial challenges faced by their parents, most of whom are cocoa farmers.

Speaking to Citi News, the President of CHASS in the Western North Region, Nana Amo Amankwah, expressed concern about the situation.

“As we speak, in a number of the schools, those who have reported are just a little above half of the number placed, and that is our concern. The Western Regional Director of Education gave an update that about 137,000 students have not taken up their admissions yet. According to them, they are facing financial challenges.”

He urged the fresh students to ignore the requirements on the prospectus and report to school, as provisions have been made by the government for a smooth academic session.

“A good number of the schools have mattresses, so we just want them to come. They should not think about the items on the prospectus so long as they can get a towel and sponge; they should come. They don’t have to get everything on the prospectus before they come.”

Prospectus, other expenses incurred by parents outweigh govt spending
A study conducted by Africa Education Watch, an educational civil society organization, has revealed that expenses on prospectuses and other items by parents outweigh the costs incurred by the government under the Free Senior High School program.

The education think tank stated that parents spent GH¢2,477 on prospectuses for their wards in boarding schools and an additional GH¢4,000 on other personal items, including 60% on provisions, 10% on transportation, 10% on books, 10% on upkeep and 10% on personal effects like toiletries, sanitary pad among others during the 2023/2023 academic year.

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