Government is determined to severely punish anyone whose actions and or inactions negatively impact on the smooth implementation of the Free Senior High School (FSHS) programme, the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has warned.
Giving the warning at the 50th anniversary celebration of the enstoolment of Nana Boakye Tromu III, Omanhene and President of the Duayaw Nkwanta Traditional Council in the Brong Ahafo Region on Saturday, Dr Bawumia said Government would move beyond naming and shaming to actual prosecution to deter any saboteurs.
He said having successfully started the implementation of the (FSHS) programme, there was the need to ensure that the policy was fully implemented to ensure that no Ghanaian child was denied access to public secondary education due to poverty.
Touching on the genuine challenges confronting the programme, the Vice President gave the assurance that government was working round the clock to address them.
Implementation of the FSHS policy, a major flagship programme of the New Patriotic Party government, began in September 2017.
Over four hundred thousand (400,000) children are currently benefiting from the programme, according to figures from the Ministry of Education (MoE).
Out of the 400,000, MoE officials say, at least ninety thousand (90,000) would not have had the chance to benefit from secondary education without the free SHS.
There have, however, been reports of pilfering by some school authorities of the free food supplied by government, while some school heads are said to be charging of unapproved fees.
In, perhaps, the most high profile of the reported thefts, the Police Criminal Investigations Department has invited Madam Comfort Oduro Bruce, senior matron and Reverend Abraham Donkor, headmaster of the Ghana Senior High School, popularly known as GHANASS in Koforidua, the Eastern Regional capital, to assist in investigations after Madam Oduro Bruce was allegedly caught by a member of the school's security attempting to cart away a number of food items at night.
Matrons at the Buipe and Tolon SHSs have also reportedly been arrested for allegedly trying to steal and sell food meant for the feeding of first year students in their care.
Source: ISD (Rex Mainoo Yeboah)