General News of Mon, 20 Nov 20176
Funding for Free SHS no big deal – Asibey Yeboah
Funding for government’s flagship education programme – Free SHS is not a big deal as all necessary steps have been taken to ensure the sustainability of the policy, a member of the government’s economic management team has assured.
The implementation of Free SHS has been overwhelmed by claims of insufficient funding, inadequate infrastructure to accommodate students, delays in releases of funds, and food delays by the Buffer stock company.
The Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS), has cautioned that Senior High Schools in the Country risk closure if government fails to immediately release subsidies which have been in arrears for three terms.
However, Speaking to Starr News at the Sidelines of 2018 post Budget Workshop for Members of Parliament which ended Monday in Koforidua , Dr. Mark Asibe Yeboah, the Member of Parliament for New Juaben South constituency, who is also a member of the Economic Management team of government said, funding for the program is not a problem for government considering the budget allocation and commitment of the President.
“Ghc1.3billion is allocated to the Free SHS Program if we didn’t have Free SHS this Ghc1.3 billion would have been free money for you. So as for funding, it is not a problem but as we go along, the budget allocation to Free SHS is going to grow. So if we have moved from Ghc400 million to Ghc1.3 billion this year, maybe by next we will reach about Ghc3 billion,” he said.
He added that: “The budgetary allocation to Ministry of Education alone without Free SHS is about Ghc8billion so you add Free SHS then it means education alone has taken the huge chunk. So as for funding it, it is not a problem, it is government’s priority program, the President is committed to it so we are going full speed ahead”.
Dr.Mark Asibe Yeboah also explained that the Voluntary Fund created for the program is to channel scholarship programs and other institutional and individual funding of Education programs into a common fund.