The Chairman of the Public Interest Accountability Committee (PIAC), Dr. Steve Manteaw, has commended former President John Dramani Mahama for ensuring the construction of several projects in the education sector, saying the current congestion in some Senior High Schools would have been worse if not for such projects.
The Mahama government was able to construct 46 out of 200 SHS projects it envisaged with the country’s oil revenue.
But the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) in September 2017 made SHS education free, starting with first-year students across the country.
Following the huge number of students enrolled in that year, there was a lot of congestion within the various secondary schools.
In a bid to address the situation, some of the schools turned their kitchens and other structures into dormitory blocks to accommodate the huge numbers.
“…This situation would have been worse but for the initiative taken by the Mahama administration. We find from our analysis that as far back as 2016 the Mahama administration spent a lot of oil revenue in developing infrastructure at the secondary schools. A lot of the energy revenue went to support e-block, but a lot of it also went to dormitory construction, assembly halls and the rest. And this is what has made the situation quite reduced,” Manteaw said in an interview on the Citi Breakfast Show.
“Although it is not good, the point is that it would have been worse, and so where we are is as a result of the investments made by the previous administration, and we have to credit them for that,” he added.
Manteaw, however, said in 2017, the NPP government allocated about GHc 200 million in the education sector, but none on infrastructure in the sector.
“…Going forward, and if you look at the educational sector expenditure supported by the oil revenue in 2017, even though [the NPP] government said it was prioritizing infrastructure, goods and services in the education sector, 100 percent of the expenditure which was in the region of GHc202 million, all went into recurrent, school fees, the free SHS and feeding, nothing, not a single cedi went into infrastructure,” he added.