Feature: Examining Head Teacher Interdiction In The Context Of Ghana’s Free Senior High School Policy

The introduction of the Free Senior High School (SHS) policy in Ghana marked a significant stride towards ensuring universal access to quality education. However, recent events, specifically the interdiction of several head teachers, have brought to light challenges within the implementation framework.

While the policy explicitly prohibits the charging of fees by head teachers, a closer examination reveals a complex web of issues compromising the effectiveness of this well-intentioned initiative.

Challenges Faced by Schools:

Governmental shortcomings, such as poor food quality, delayed release of feeding grants, and a lack of funds for maintenance and renovation, contribute to the financial strains felt by schools. The failure to provide ceremonial dresses and essential educational materials further underscores the systemic issues that hamper the holistic success of the Free SHS policy.

Interdiction Basis:

The recent interdiction of head teachers, particularly for charges related to school branding and mandatory purchases of students’ anniversary cloth, raises questions about the practicality of a blanket ban on fees. It is essential to recognize the financial constraints faced by schools and the need for alternative funding sources to ensure the sustainability of the Free SHS policy.

Forced Purchases and Educational Impact:

The reported incidents of forcing students to purchase exercise books and vital textbooks, ostensibly to enhance teaching and learning, warrant scrutiny. While the intent may be to address resource gaps, a coercive approach risks creating an environment where students and parents feel burdened rather than supported.


  1. Addressing Systemic Issues:

The government must prioritize addressing the root causes of financial strain on schools, ensuring timely release of grants, and improving overall infrastructure and resource allocation.

  1. Transparent Communication:

Enhancing communication between the Ministry of Education, head teachers, and parents is crucial. Transparent discussions can foster understanding and collaboration, creating a more conducive environment for effective teaching and learning.

  1. Flexibility in Funding:

Exploring alternative funding mechanisms or allowing schools some autonomy in non-academic fees could alleviate financial pressures and facilitate smoother policy implementation.


While the interdiction of head teachers demonstrates a commitment to enforcing the Free SHS policy, a nuanced perspective is necessary. It is imperative to consider the systemic challenges faced by schools and explore collaborative solutions that prioritize the ultimate goal – providing quality education to all students.

The government, educators, and parents must work together to refine and implement the Free SHS policy effectively, ensuring that the vision of accessible and quality education for every Ghanaian student becomes a tangible reality.

By Wisdom Koudjo Klu,


Greater Accra Region.


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