General News of Mon, 18 Sep 20176
Funding Free SHS with oil money not sustainable – Laud Freeman
Management and Research Consultant Laud Freeman has appealed to President Akufo Addo to reconsider his decision to fund the free SHS policy with proceeds from natural resources if he wants to sustain the policy.
President Akufo-Addo has stated that his government will resort to proceeds from and other natural resources to fund the free Senior High School policy. The policy is to ensure that every student eligible to enter second cycle institution gains admission with free meals and tuition.
“To ensure that no child is denied access to secondary education, we are removing one of the biggest obstacles that currently stand in their way, the cost of providing free secondary school education will be cheaper than the cost of the alternative of an uneducated and unskilled workforce that has the capacity to retard our development” The President stated at the launch of the policy.
In justifying the decision, Nana Akufo Addo said Instead of the revenues from our mineral and oil resources ending up in the hands of a few people, the most equitable and progressive way of using these revenues is to educate and empower our population to strengthen our nation.
But speaking at the Mfantsipim Old Boys Association’s (MOBA) Annual Engagement Series II on the theme, Delivering Quality Secondary Education in Ghana: A Paradigm Shift Needed, Management Consultant Laud E. Freeman noted that the natural commodities are subject to fluctuations in the world market prices and also they are finite exhaustible resources and therefore should not be the source of funding to the Free SHS policy if it must be sustained.
He stated that if Ghana wants to sustain the much hyped free SHS policy with a dependable source of funding, then the Agriculture sector has the potential to provide the fund to sustain the policy for posterity to benefit.
In explaining his recommendation, he said Ghana’s import bill on eight (8) basic food commodities stances at USD 2.2 billion per year. Apart from wheat all the remaining seven (7) basic food commodities can be produced locally in Ghana and even exported.
This he said when considered will help generate sustainable and dependable funding for the SHS policy and even benefit generation yet on born.
Mr Laud E. Freeman also added that, in as much as the government mostly depends on Private Public Partnership for a sustainable funding and quality delivery of a project to develop Ghana, the government must also consider the same procedure to fund the Free SHS policy.