Professor Felix Nikoi Hammond, the Chairman of the Governing Council of Dominion University College has proposed a disbursement model christened “Per Student Budgetary Allocation” (PSBA) for the country’s free Senior High School policy.
Prof Hammond said the module would enable each beneficiary student to be entitled to a budgetary allocation for his or her SHS education.
The module would also allow students the freedom to choose where to have his or her SHS education.
This was in statement signed by the Professor and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra.
Prof Hammond explained, “rather than compelling students to go to a school because the free SHS funds will be sent there, as the case is currently, under the proposed PSBA, the money will follow the student to his or her chosen school”.
“This gives students freedom of choice, a hallmark of a free society. The PSBA will ensure that a wider range of factors beyond where government will send the money will influence students’ choice of schools”.
Prof Hammond, who is also a Fellow of Higher Education Academy, UK said the module would force schools to take active steps to make themselves more appealing to students in order to attract their PSBA.
He said the current approach to disbursing free SHS budget to State schools’ limited students’ choices, which can have a negative effect on the performance of students.
Disbursing the monies directly to State schools, he said, would force free SHS beneficiary students to choose schools that the monies will be disbursed to even if they would have preferred a private alternative.
He commended the government for implementing the free Senior High School (SHS) policy.
The initiative, according to Prof Hammond was a major step towards tackling socioeconomic inequality, improving educational attainment and widening secondary school access to the disadvantaged and underprivileged.
In his opinion, he said a student’s entitlement to government support for their SHS education should be based on the grounds that they are citizens of Ghana and not because they are prepared to attend a State school.
Prof Hammond, said, giving every child an equal chance of going to secondary school was no mean achievement, hoping that “this step would be followed immediately with initiatives to radically enhance the quality of secondary education in Ghana”.
The Free SHS policy was implemented in September when the 2017/2018 academic year commenced.
The programme started with first-year students in all public SHSs and technical and vocational education training institutions across the country.