General News of Sun, 3 Dec 201751
Government to release 80% of Free SHS funds when students are on vacation
Deputy Minister of Education, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum has revealed that government will disburse the remaining 80percent funds to Senior High Schools under the Free Senior High School (SHS) programme, in three weeks.
The minister made this disclosure, in an interview with JoyNew’s Gifty Andoh on Monday.
The fear that many well-meaning Ghanaians entertained, for which reason they admonished the government to hasten slowly in its implementation of free SHS is beginning to emerge.
The financial implication of such a policy is so huge that, it must not be done to score a political point.
Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, is telling heads of schools that, the government is only able to disburse the remaining 80percent arrears to them, when they are on vacation.
The reason most social intervention policies fail in this country is because of arrears.
Most beneficiaries of such policies buy their goods and services on credit. Government does not disburse funds to them on time, and so they are not able to meet their obligations with their suppliers.
School feeding caterers recently embarked upon demonstration, they even threatened naked demonstration, before their arrears were paid.
National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is riddled with debt, providers, have to threaten to withdraw services before some token are paid to them.
Schools in the three Northern regions, each term have to send students home, because government subvention, does not get to them on time.
These and many reasons are why, a lot of people, thought the government, should have advanced slowly and take every suggestion on board, before rolling out the policy.
No Ghanaian is against the Free SHS policy, no country, has developed without an educated workforce, so we are all for it, but its sustainability, without compromising on quality is what should agitate the minds of those promoting it.
What good are the funds to the students and school authorities, when they are home, and to think this is the first term and the first year of its implementation?
We call on the erratic, Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh, to use his time to find concrete and lasting solution to the funding gap, the policy is about to create, than to go round, running down his predecessor, before the government considers declaring a state of emergency in the sector.