The Executive Director of Africa Education Watch, Kofi Asare, has expressed his concerns regarding the excessive spending of government resources on Free Senior High School (FSHS) program at the detriment of basic education.
According to him, government of Ghana is spending over GH4 billion on FSHS policy this year and that amounts to over (32%) of total expenditure for the entire education sector. Hence, public basic schools will always face financial constraints if government refused to reform the policy.
“This year, government of Ghana is paying GH2,388 per fresher (boarding) and GH1,896 for continuing students (boarding) under free SHS. That’s about GH2 billion. Add salaries, goods and services and others in secondary education and you will cross GH4 billion, that’s over 32% of the entire education budget being spent on only 1.2 million learners. That’s partly why Basic schools with 6 million learners will continue to struggle for resources”, he said.
However, Kofi Asare proposed that the government of Ghana should allow graduates of Private Junior High Schools (PJHS) pay half of what they enjoy under the FSHS policy whiles the government absorbs the rest and fees of Public Junior High School graduates.
Nonetheless, he excluded Private Junior High Schools in rural areas who charge below GH300 per term from paying for FSHS.
He argued that if parents could spend more than GH2000 for their kid in Private Junior High School, then it is rational to extrapolate that the parents can pay half of what government spends on their kid under FSHS program.
“I propose only Public JHS graduates should enjoy free SHS. Based on EMIS data, we estimate that to be 70% of SHS students. The remaining (30%, About 400,000) private JHS graduates should pay (50%) fees (that’s about 1,100 per year), while GoG absorbs the rest.
If parents could spent at least GHC 2,000 a year on fees, transport, feeding and books at private JHS, it is conscionable to suggest that a private JHS graduate is not likely to be deprived of SHS education due to GH 1,100 per year, which even includes accommodation”, he said.
He later urged government to address the challenges that confront FSHS with urgency and reform the policy for the betterment of our educational system.
He wrote this on his Facebook page today.
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