Fix free SHS challenges – NUGS urges gov’t

The National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS), has called on government to quickly address the challenges that the Free Senior High School programme faces.

In a resolution that was passed at the union’s 51st Annual Delegates Congress, the union commended the initiative, but warned that if the challenges are not fixed quickly, the policy will fail.

“As a student body, we are always excited at any initiative that will lessen the financial burden on students and by extension parents, so we are increasingly getting worried as we hear of widespread infrastructural and funding challenges which are impacting negatively on teaching and learning in our high schools,” the outgoing Press and Information Secretary of NUGS, Kenneth Sarpong said.

“We are aware that government has released only 20% of the budgetary allocation so far. That is woefully inadequate, and we are calling on the government, to as a matter of urgency, release full funding to school heads and also put in place long-term measures to address issues of infrastructure in our high schools.”

The Free SHS programme was launched by President Akufo-Addo on September 12 at the premises of the West Africa Senior High School in Adenta, Accra. In this flagship programme, the government of Ghana foots all bills including feeding fees, tuition fees and any other accompanying charges.

Since its launch, there have been reports of various challenges facing the programme, including reports of infrastructural and feeding problems, due to the high number of nearly 400,000 students that enrolled.

NUGS elects new leaders

At the congress, NUGS also elected its new leaders for the 2017/2018 academic year, with Frank Amoakohene of the University of Ghana Medical School being president, and Emmanuel Kabu Nartey being the General Secretary.

The others are Derrick Abotsi (Treasurer), Sylvester Kobby Marfo (Coordinating Secretary), Pearl Ossai (Women’s Commissioner), Emmanuel Dogbatsey (Financial Controller), Eric Nana Agyeman (Press and Information Secretary), Solomon Ananpansah (Projects and Programs Secretary), David Mensah (Education and Democratisation Secretary) and Victor Elias Seshie (International Relations Secretary).

NUGS is the umbrella body for all tertiary student unions in Ghana. It was established to champion the cause of Ghanaian students and to serve as a vehicle to mobilize the youth for national development.

By: Jeffrey Owuraku Sarpong/

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