Member of Parliament(MP) for Builsa South Constituency in the Upper East Region, Dr Clement Apaak, has made a passionate appeal to the Akufo-Addo government to call for a national forum to find a more sustainable way of financing the Free Senior High School program.
According to the Deputy Ranking on Education Committee of Parliament, the oil money being used by the government to fund the Free Senior High School program has been proven to be insufficient and inadequate as the government now borrows to finance the program.
Speaking on Okay FM’s ‘Ade Akye Abia’ Morning Show, the Member of Public Accounts Committee of Parliament noted that the Minister of State in charge of Finance at the Office of the President, Charles Adu Boahen in an interview with Bloomberg.com indicated that Ghana will float bond of $1 billion.
He added that the Minister of State emphasized that some of the bonds will be used to defray social intervention program in the area of environment and expanding access in education, specifically, the Free Senior High School policy.
“It is very clear that we are no longer able to sufficiently finance the program from our own generated resources. We are taking loans and therefore we ought to start looking at the national forum to see as a nation how we can find a more sustainable way of financing the program,” he appealed to the government.
Dr Clement Apaak explained that the number of students in the Senior High Schools increases every year as it is evident that the student population at the beginning of the program was less than 500,000 but 4 years down the line, the government budget quoted slightly above 1.2 million students in the Senior High School system; hence, the need to find a way to finance the program.
He again mentioned that the Free Senior High School is still struggling with the provision of adequate infrastructure; thus, although the Akufo-Addo government has initiated some infrastructure projects, the rate at which infrastructure is being added is much slower than the rate of student population increase.
“ . . The government in 2018 came to Parliament to seek approval to use the GETFund as collateral for a loan of 1.5 billion. That money was meant to complete some 766 uncompleted GETFund projects and also to add new projects but those 766 projects have not been completed. The challenges persist; the issue of food is another main challenge as the food is not sufficient for the students,” he raised concerns.
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