The Director of the Africa Education Watch, Kofi Asare, has posited that regardless of the free Senior High School being a very beneficial policy, its sustainability is questionable.
According to him, the many avoidable spending on the policy has made the country’s free SHS twice as expensive as compared to countries with the same policy in place.
He made this statement in an interview with Happy 98.9 FM’s Samuel Eshun, host of the Happy Morning Show. “All around the world, about a dollar and a few cents are spent on their free secondary education policies but in Ghana, we spend almost 3 dollars on our free SHS which is not sustainable.”
He noted that the worrying trend of the expensive but important policy is that the government is dipping its hands into coffers meant for other equally important things. “We are using loans to fund the free SHS policy all the time. And we have used almost half of the funds assigned to the GetFund to support free SHS.”
Kofi Asare advised the government to adopt some cost-effective measures to make the free SHS policy very sustainable.
The education advocate mentioned that the government should cease providing free food for day students as it is expensive. And added that if the government focuses on making High Schools day schools, the free SHS can be sustained.
“More than 50% of monies spent on the free SHS policy was used for feeding and if we can change the policy to free day SHS, we will be able to handle it.”
He believes everyone must have free access to education at all levels whether rich or poor. But for that to happen and become effective, the need to remodel the free SHS policy around day schools will be cost-effective.