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Free SHS to cost GH¢755 million in 2013 - Akufo-Addo reveals

Education

Nana Akufo-AddoFree SHS to cost GH¢755 million in 2013 - Akufo-Addo reveals

21 August 2012

The 2012 Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, yesterday disclosed that the cost of providing free senior high school education in 2013, when he wins the December election, will be GH¢755 million, with the cost expected to rise to GH¢1.45 billion in 2016.   

 

 

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The NPP flagbearer also disclosed that in 2014 and in 2015, the cost would be GH¢965 million and GH¢1.19 billion respectively.

Nana Akufo-Addo made the disclosure when he took his turn at the Evening Encounter, organized by the Institute of Economic Affairs, at the Ghana India Kofi Annan ICT Centre.

The NPP flagbearer explained that to change the perennial situation of young Ghanaians leaving school at Junior High School without opportunities for further education or training, his administration would redefine basic education and make it compulsory from Kindergarten to Senior High School.

“To ensure that no child is denied access to secondary education, we will remove the biggest obstacles that currently stand in their way: cost and access,” Nana Addo added.

In explaining the components of senior high school cost that will be borne by an Akufo-Addo administration, the NPP flagbearer said: “In addition to tuition and other costs already borne by government, admission, library, computer, science centre and examination fees will all be free...so will boarding, feeding and entertainment fees, along with textbooks and utilities.”

The policy which is set to kick start in September 2013, according to Nana Addo, is expected to be around 1% of Ghana’s GDP. In 2013, the policy will include provision for cost of tuition, boarding and feeding which translates into some GH¢78 million.

“Additional expenditure on more teachers, infrastructure for schools, including expanding and rehabilitating existing infrastructure, and establishing cluster schools in areas where there are no Senior High Schools, will bring the total cost to GH¢755 million (0.9% of GDP) in 2013 and rise to GH¢1.45 billion (1.3% of GDP) in 2016,” Nana Addo said.

The NPP flagbearer also stated that providing free secondary education would increase the total educational expenditure from the 4.1% of GDP in 2012 to 5.8% by 2016, a figure which would still be below the UNESCO minimum of 6%.

“I am prepared to go beyond that in order to improve quality at all levels – Primary, JHS, SHS, and Tertiary,” Nana Addo said, adding that countries that had taken deliberate, successful steps to improve their economies had spent substantial amounts of their national income on education.

“Let me put this into context; the NDC admits to paying out some GH¢640 million, equivalent to 1.4% of Ghana's 2010 GDP, as judgement debts. Are we telling parents and their children that a Ghana that can afford to spend 1.4% of its income on judgement debts cannot afford to spend an additional 1.3% of its income on giving its children free secondary education?,” Nana Addo asked.

Funding for the policy, Nana Addo explained, woud be drawn from a percentage of the oil revenues allocated to the Ghana National Petroleum Company, and for the funding of the budget, “as well as a greater percentage from GETFund, will be used to finance the programme.”

Fiifi Arhin

Source: thestatesmanonline.com





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