Parents to pay Free SHS fees after review- Prof. Amankwah
Director-General of Ghana Education Service (GES), Prof. Kwasi Opoku Amankwah, says a review of the Free Senior High School Policy is underway to get pay parents to pay cost components of fees to ease burden on government.
The crucial reviewing exercise he disclosed is aimed at determining which of the cost components government can relinquish to parents to pay.
“…we can do the analysis and then come up and say that, ok, to give Raymond quality education, it will cost this much. Within that cost, these are the items in the cost.
“Then we will all put it out there and say this item, we can make do of it, and it will not affect quality, this item, I think we can get parents to pay,” he said.
The Ministry of Finance in a statement earlier this month indicated that the policy will not be suspended despite seeking support from the IMF.
It however noted that the IMF will be concerned about possible lack of finance and the ability of government to sustain its expenditure.
“Free SHS, the School Feeding programme, among others, are good social intervention programmes and it is the lack of financing and unsustainable debt burdens that could constrain a government’s ability to maintain its level of spending, including social or investment spending.
“In our situation, the IMF may ask Ghana to consider curtailing lower priority or non- productive spending (such as “white elephant” projects) as part of its fiscal adjustment but to preserve priority social spending, including on health and education.” the statement said.
Prof. Amankwah responded that they are nowhere near a conclusion but a key component of the review is geared at ensuring a cost arrangement that ensures quality.
Free SHS policy is a flagship programme of NPP-led Administration in which some fees are paid by the central government to scale up access to education at Senior High School level.