xxxxxxxxxxx of Sun, 26 Nov 20170
Free SHS voluntary contribution won’t work – Mahama
Ex-president John Dramani Mahama says the challenges with the Free senior high school (SHS) education policy will not cease unless there is a comprehensive funding strategy.
He said the creation of the Voluntary Contribution Fund to solicit the support of Ghanaians, will not help.
At the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Unity Walk held in the Western Regional town of Tarkwa Saturday, he emphasized the need for a consultative forum to discuss funding options for the policy as was done prior to the establishment of the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) and the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA).
The programme rolled out in September, is estimated to cost the country some ?3.6million yearly, but political critics have described the amount as unsustainable.
The Free SHS has faced some logistical challenges, with some students sleeping in makeshift structures because of the non-availability of proper accommodation facilities.
Education Minister Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh has said it will cost the government the sum of GHC80million to upgrade the infrastructure at most of the schools.
In listening to suggestions by civil society organizations, the government has decided to create a Voluntary Contribution Fund to take donations from Ghanaians towards the programme.
But the former President said the creation of the Fund is not a sufficient solution to the funding challenges facing the programme.