Education

No Loan For Free SHS

The Government has not taken any loan to finance the implementation of the Free Senior High School (SHS) policy, the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta has stated.

According to him, the Free SHS policy has since its inception been financed from the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) and Government of Ghana (GoG) funding sources.

Answering questions on the floor of Parliament yesterday, the Finance Minister indicated that a total amount of GH¢7.62 billion had been expended on the Free SHS programme over the last five years.

“Out of this amount, GH¢4.18 billion was sourced from GoG, representing 54.76 per cent, while the balance of GH¢3.44 billion representing 45.24 per cent, came from ABFA,” he said.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Builsa South, Dr. Clement Apaak, had asked the minister whether the government took a loan to finance the Free SHS programme.

Mr. Ofori-Atta noted that the Free SHS education provides free education for all Ghanaians in Senior High Schools to ensure that no child is denied access to education.

“This includes tuition, meals for boarders and day students, textbooks, library fee, boarding fee, science laboratory fee, examination fee and utility fee,” he explained.

The minister disclosed that student enrolment at the secondary school level had also increased from 881,600 in 2016 to 1,261,125 in 2021 due to the Free SHS policy.

“Mr. Speaker, five years after the implementation of the Free SHS, 411 out of the 465 candidates who scored grade A in all subjects at the 2020 WASSCE were beneficiaries of the Free SHS. Mr. Speaker, Free SHS beneficiaries constituted 88% of all candidates who scored grade A in all subjects at the 2020 WASSCE.”

He said this process of expansion of educational opportunities has to be the bedrock of educational policy in the 21st century for the nation, “if we are to make the rapid transformation of the social and economic lives we all seek as it has been emphasised by the President.”

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