General News of Wed, 22 Nov 201714
There’s enough money to Fund Free SHS – Kwaku Kwarteng
A deputy Finance Minister, Kwaku Kwarteng has rubbished assertions that government lacks sustainable financing plan for its free Senior High School programme.
“Anybody that says we have not disbursed enough and is expecting government to disburse more than they need for now and then in the future when they need it then they use does not understand how public finances work,” he told Starr News’ Parliamentary Correspondent Ibrahim Alhassan Wednesday in an exclusive interview.
According to him, the government so far has disbursed what it takes to run the programme smoothly.
Mr. Kwarteng’s comments come as government faces intense criticism for disclosing it is going to set up a fund dubbed: ‘Voluntary Education Fund’ to receive what the minority described as ‘Susu’ to support the free-fee education agenda.
“….The free SHS is fully funded in both the 2017 budget statement and the 2018 budget statement,” stressed the Obuasi West lawmaker.
The implementation of the Free SHS policy had been saddled with several challenges including inadequate infrastructure and teaching materials.
Announcing the government’s move last week, during the 2018 budget presentation, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta said establishing the fund became necessary after the government received proposals to that effect.
Government is expected to spend over GHS1billion on the implementation of the policy for the next academic year.
Assuring Ghanaians that all the government’s electioneering pledges will be fulfilled, Mr. Kwarteng said “we are never going to have a difficulty disbursing monies…for all our programmes when they really need it.”