Everything you need to know about the Free SHS policy

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Education and skills training are the most important source of empowering and providing opportunities to the youth to help drive Ghana’s development, and in the process create jobs.

As a nation we are determined to bring education to the doorstep of our children because it is worth it. We dare to do this because we ardently believe that the Ghanaian child deserves it.

The NANA AKUFO ADDO lead government has given full effect to SDG 4.1 with the implementation of a Free SHS Policy. The programme, is anchored in the below pillars;

Removal of cost barriers

Remove Cost Barriers through the absorption of fees approved by GES council

Expansion of infrastructure

Expand physical school infrastructure and facilities to accommodate the expected increase in enrolment.

Improvement in Quality and Equity

Improve quality through provision of core textbooks and supplementary readers, teacher rationalisation and deployment, etc.

Development of Employable Skills

Improve competitiveness of Ghanaian Students to match the best in the World.

By free SHS we mean free tuition, admission fee, textbooks, library fees, science center fees, fees for ICT, examination fee, payment of utility fee, boarding and meals.

Article 25 1b of the 1992 Constitution states that “Secondary education in its different forms including technical and vocational education, shall be made generally available and accessible to all by every appropriate means, and in particular, by the progressive introduction of free education”.

Goal 4, Target 1 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) also states that “by 2030, all boys and girls complete free equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes”.


Student Qualified
Instant Placement

The Scope

SHS enrolment has almost doubled from 393,995 in 2007/08 to 787,861 in 2015/16 academic year. This notwithstanding, large number of students continue to be denied of secondary education.

To reverse this trend, is our effort implement the Free SHS policy.


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.

The following are excluded from the scholarship:
  • Foreigners
  • Re-entry students in form one
  • Previous Form one Students who repeat their class

Duration of Funding for beneficiaries

Beneficiaries of this government scholarship will enjoy it for  3 years.

Equitable Access

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

The free SHS policy aims to take out the element of cost as a barrier to education. Under this policy, ever Ghanaian child who attains the pass mark, as agreed for the year by Ghana Education Service Council, will enjoy a three-year scholarship for secondary education.

To access the scholarship, the student would have to print the placement form and report to the school. The head of the school will then check the Student Information System (SIS) to confirm the placement. The SIS is designed to give real time updates on students who have been placed in a school at a particular time.

The school heads would not need to have an updated list printed and manually delivered to the school anytime a student is placed there. The SIS would also enable the heads enrol the student electronically so at any time, managers of the policy would know the exact number of students placed in a school to facilitate the disbursement of funds and other resources like school uniforms, text books, exercise books etc.

Under Free SHS all fees recommended by GES Council for SHS students, other than PTA dues will be absorbed by Government. These include: One-Time Fee Items for 1st Year students, all recurrent Fee Items and Feeding Fees. Fees for 1st year students for 2017/2018 academic year are as follows:

One-Time Fee Items for 1st Year students.
  • Day – GH¢435.00
  • Boarding – GH¢438.00
All recurrent Fee Items.
  • Day – GH¢101.47
  • Boarding – GH¢105.47
Feeding Fees: 

3 meals for boarders (GH¢4.80 / day) and 1 hot meal for all day students (GH¢1.60/day).

PTA Dues: 

The government has agreed to pay GHC 20 per year to replace the portion of PTA dues dedicated towards teacher motivation. PTA dues are no longer mandatory and parents who cannot afford to pay any GES approved PTA dues are duly exempted from it


Heads of schools will continue with their traditional roles of managing the day to day affairs of schools

In 2017/2018 academic year, implementation of Day/Boarding placement will be in accordance with existing guidelines.


Rent seeking for the placement of students in boarding facilities will be severely sanctioned.


Disbursements procedures will follow existing guidelines and practices and will be based on signed school list and submission of returns and requests backed by appropriate documentation.

There will be two disbursements in the term. An initial advance apportionment at the beginning and the remaining upon submission of returns and details on student’s information within two weeks after enrolment start date.


Strictly Day Schools: One hot meal will be served students in day schools. Food vendors are contracted to serve one hot meal at the school

Boarding Schools: Food items are supplied by suppliers that are registered with National Food Buffer Stock Company to supply non-perishable food to boarding schools.

To ensure economies of scale, procurement will be done at two levels; centrally and the school level.

For 2017/2018, items to be procured centrally include:

  1. Exercise books
  2. P.E. kits
  3. Note Books
  4. Supplementary Readers
  5. Textbooks
  6. Technical Drawing Instruments
  7. Technical Drawing Board and Tee Square

For 2017/2018, items to be procured at the school level include:

  1. School cloth
  2. School uniform
  3. House Dress
  4. Food Supplies
  5. Food vendors