The Ministry of Education has described as untenable, calls by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) to allow parents who can afford fees in senior high schools to pay for their wards school fees.
The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) in its assessment of the 2019 Supplementary Budget and Mid-Year Economic Review suggested that parents capable of paying, be allowed to do so to support government’s Free SHS program.
Speaking to Citi News on the matter, the Public Relations officer of the Education Ministry, Vincent Ekow Assafuah said the government will stand by its promise to provide free senior high school education.
“I remember when the Finance minister made the call that if you are able and willing pay for your ward’s fees then you may be able to put in any amount that you want. Today as I speak I can tell you on authority that not a pesewa has been paid into that fund. The argument where some people can and others cannot pay and those who can pay should be allowed to pay for is not tenable,” he said.
He added that after the Finance Minister announced a fund for voluntary contributions, not a pesewa has been paid.
In its assessment of the 2019 Supplementary Budget and Mid-Year Economic Review, the IEA advised the government to review some of its policies such as the Free SHS to get enough funds to cater for other relevant projects.
The government spends GHC453 million annually to fund the Free Senior High School programme which has been running for about two years now.
This according to analysts leaves little fiscal space for the government to undertake other development activities.
The Director for Research at the IEA, Dr. John K. Kwakye while presenting the assessment on Tuesday said the IEA will advocate for the approach and believes the government must seriously consider, given the wide support of Ghanaians for such an idea.
“A kind of means-testing scheme could be introduced to make financially capable parents pay for their wards. This is an idea that a large cross-section of Ghanaians seems to support which must seriously be considered by the government.”