Update on Free SHS

The Free SHS policy was launched on 13th September, 2017 to coincide with re-opening of senior high schools for the 2017/2018 academic year by H.E the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.


2017 placement statistics:

Placement Rate
Total Enrolled as @ 29 Nov. 2017
Total Applicants


Every Ghanaian child who is placed into a Public Second Cycle Institution by the Computerised School Selection and Placement System (CSSPS) during the 2017 school placement is eligible to enjoy the Free SHS.

Enrolment trends

Placement by CSSPS


20% upfront Payment

An amount of GH¢57,443,331 was disbursed to 656 schools as their 20% upfront payment.

Additional disbursement is being processed for 100 schools who have submitted their returns in terms of students signed list.

Centrally paid for items

Items Procured at the School Level and paid for centrally

–School Cloth
–School Uniform
–House Dress

Food Procurement (Schools/Buffer Stock)

–Food Supplied by Buffer Stock Companies
–Food Vendors

Advance Allocation for 2nd term

The Ministry of Education has released Ghc35.9 million to public second cycle schools under the Free Senior High School programme to cover initial operational and administrative costs for the second term of the 2017/2018 academic year.

School level Procurement

Procurement of Perishable Food Items


The Free Senior High School Educational Policy is the implementation of Free Universal Secondary Education by making secondary education free for every Ghanaian child. By Free SHS, the policy seeks to make free tuition, admission, textbook, library, science center, computer, examination, utilities, boarding and meals.

  • Quality
  • Affordability
  • Access
  • Skills improvement
  • Expansion of Infrastructure

Every Ghanaian child who write the current BECE and is placed into a Public Second Cycle Institution by the Computerized School Selection and Placement System (CSSPS) is eligible to enjoy the Free SHS

Beneficiaries of this government scholarship will enjoy it for 3 years which is the duration for a full secondary school education.

There will be no re-entry. Candidates who miss out on the scholarship can reapply by acquiring the current BECE results for placement.

30% of places in elite schools will be reserved for entrants from public Junior High Schools.

These are Senior High Schools with excellent performances over the years. Currently, there are 82 elite schools in Ghana.

The Choice file refers to the list of Senior High Schools a candidate has selected for possible placement which would be based on his/her BECE Performance.

Placement is when a qualified student is placed in a school for admission.

The School Register is an important document designed and updated annually to serve as a guide to parent, guardians and students in the selection of Senior High Schools for placement. The Register outlines the following; The Option of the schools, The Region within which the schools can be located, The District, The Schools’ Code, The Schools’ Name, The Location of the Schools’, The Gender of Students who can enroll in the school (i.e. Single Sex (specify) or Mixed), The Programs offered in the Schools’, The Available Residential Status (i.e. Day, Hostel or Day/Boarding).

Procurements and payments

Procurements are done in three phases;

  1. Items procured locally and paid for locally
  2. Items procured locally but paid for centrally
  3. Items procured centrally and paid for centrally

Certain items like perishable food items are procured locally by the heads of schools and they pay for them. This perishable food items arrangements are reserved for boarding schools to augment the supplies from Buffer Stock Company Limited.

Contracts for the supply of items like school uniforms, school cloth, house dresses, food vendors and utilities are entered into at the school level but the government makes payments for these items through the Ministry of Education. These payments are made directly to the contractors.

Items like Textbooks, supplementary readers, exercise books, note books, T-squares, P.E. kits, food item supplies are procured centrally due to economies of scale. These items are then distributed to the various schools

Fees & Payments

Does the scholarship include PTA dues?

No. PTA dues are membership fees parents are charged for being part of the Parent-Teacher Association. The payment of such fees are not mandatory to warrant the sacking of students for non-payment.

What fees are absorbed by government?

All GES approved fees for schools. these fees includes admission fees, textbooks, exercise books, notebooks, uniforms, house dress, church cloth, feeding fee and all recurrent fees.

What is advance apportionment fund?

It was previously referred to as 20% fees to schools. It is an initial fund the government sends to schools to cover their operational and administrative costs. This includes SRC dues, house dues, sports fees, culture fees, general stationery and vehicle maintenance fee, postage, sanitation fees, examination fees. Additionally, 20% of feeding fee for boarding schools are added for the purchase of perishable food items to supplement feeding.


Day students are provided one hot meal per day. The food will be provided through a food vendor registered with the school. The food vendor enters into a contract with the school but payments are done centrally through the Ministry of Education.

Boarding students are fed through food items supplied by Ghana Nation food and buffer stock company limited. The Buffer Stock Company has local contractors that supplies food items to the schools. The contractors are paid through the Buffer Stock Company.

Do day students also benefit from feeding?

Yes. One hot meal a day will be provided as lunch for all day students.

Admission & Placement

The self-placement option is activated when a candidate misses out on all the four (4) selected schools he/she chooses (Choice file). It provides an opportunity for the candidate to go onto the system and self-place him/herself into available schools as indicated on the system. This process is what is termed as Self-Placement.

Placement is accepted once a candidates prints out his/her placement form, fills the form and endorsed by his or her previous Junior High School Head. Once the form is endorsed the candidate is required to send the form to the Head of the Senior High school where he or she is placed.

Once these actions are concluded, the candidate has accepted placement into the school.

After submitting the filled and endorsed placement form to the Senior High School, the candidate is enrolled electronically through the Student Information System (SIS). This portal is used to enroll students by acquiring for the students Bio-Data.

Once admission is completed, an SMS message is sent to the parent/guardian of the students to confirm a successful admission.