General News of Tue, 28 Nov 201710
Government to release remaining 80% Free SHS funds in 3 weeks
The government says it will begin disbursing the remaining 80 percent funds to the other 56 Senior High Schools (SHSs) under the Free SHS programme.
Deputy Minister for Education Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum explained that the monies delayed because the schools involved did not send their returns on time.
He told Joy News’ Gifty Andoh Appiah Monday, that the amount will be disbursed in the coming days.
The Nana Akufo-Addo government released 20 percent of the budgeted GH¢400 million needed in September for the start of the initiative at the beginning of the 2017/18 academic year.
The Minority in Parliament last week predicted a collapse of the country’s secondary education in five years if the challenges plaguing the sector under the Free SHS policy are not fixed.
They said the challenges bedevilling SHS education under Akufo-Addo’s flagship Free SHS policy are overwhelming and will cripple the schools soon.
Former Deputy Education Minister, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, on the floor of Parliament, said the provision made for the policy in the 2018 budget is inadequate.
“In 2018, we are talking about four terms, and yet you have provided for only ¢1.13 billion for free SHS; which is woefully inadequate,” he said.
“Mr Speaker, what is more even troubling is that the whole of Ghana was expecting that the Budget under education would come with a Marshal Plan; a rescue package for the disaster, which this country is grappling with,” he added.
But Dr Adutwum dismissed the Minority’s concerns insisting the policy is working just fine.
He said government is poised to better the lives of Ghanaians and is working hard to ensure that is achieved.
The Deputy Education Minister said he does not know how much the country is making from the Voluntary Education Fund.
“I don’t know because it is not going to replace any money we are getting from Free SHS…we don’t want to think as if it that is what is going to be used for Free SHS…it will be an additional funding that will support education,” he explained further.