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GH¢5.3bn invested in Free SHS by end of 2021, not GH¢7.62bn

Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance Dr Mohammed Amin Adam, says  GH¢5.3bn invested in Free Senior High School Programme by the end of 2021 and not GH¢7.62 billion as represented.

Dr Adam made the announcement on the floor of Parliament on behalf of Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister for Finance in response to a question from Mr Clement Abas Apaak, a National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Builsa South.

“Mr Speaker, GH¢5.3bn invested to implement Free SHS, resulting in over 1.2 million teenagers being in secondary school now, looking forward to better opportunities in life. For their parents and families, this has translated into GH¢2.2 billion in savings,” he said.

Free SHS covers free tuition, admission fee, textbooks, library fees, science center fees, fees for ICT, examination fee, payment of utility fee, boarding and meals.

Removal of cost barriers

Remove Cost Barriers through the absorption of fees approved by GES council

Expansion of infrastructure

Expand physical school infrastructure and facilities to accommodate the expected increase in enrolment.

Government initiated 1,132 infrastructure projects in second cycle institutions across the country between 2017 and 2022.

Out of this number, some 734 has since been completed and handed over while the rest are at various stages of completion.

Improvement in Quality and Equity

Improve quality through provision of core textbooks and supplementary readers, teacher rationalisation and deployment, etc.

Development of Employable Skills

Improve competitiveness of Ghanaian Students to match the best in the World.

Article 25 1b of the 1992 Constitution

Article 25 1b of the 1992 Constitution states that “Secondary education in its different forms including technical and vocational education, shall be made generally available and accessible to all by every appropriate means, and in particular, by the progressive introduction of free education”.

SDG 4, Target 1

Goal 4, Target 1 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) also states that “by 2030, all boys and girls complete free equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes”.

Mr Apaak inquired about what accounted for the huge increase in the amount invested to implement Free Senior High School (Free SHS) from GH¢3.2 billion since its inception as reported in the 2020 Mid-Year Review of the Budget Statement and Economic Policy to GH¢7.62 billion as reported in the 2021 Mid-Year Fiscal Policy Review of the Budget Statement and Economic Policy.

Dr Adam Amin clarified that the 2021 Mid-Year Fiscal Policy Review discussed the sources of financing for the Free SHS in line with the government’s interest in budget transparency.

GH¢5.3bn invested

“Mr Speaker, over the years GH¢7.62 billion has been allocated to implement the Free SHS Programme.,” he said.

He explained that the increase in allocation was a result of the growth in cohorts and enrollment, adding that in the 2017/2018 academic year, total enrollment was 362,108 and that increased to 432,791 in the 2018/2019 academic year.

“Mr Speaker, by the 2021/2022 academic year, enrollment reached 465,242. Subsequent allocations increased because of the number of cohorts and for that matter, the number of enrollments has been increasing,” he told Parliament.

Dr Adam Amin said the cumulative allocation for the programme did not usually and naturally translate into the amount spent and invested in the Free SHS Programme for key two reasons; how the government was able to spend and invest depended on revenue performance and non-alignment of the financial and academic year, which required that reconcile occurred before amounts were fully paid in the next financial year.

According to him, the 2021 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) results being the second batch of the “Akufo-Addo graduates” showed 54.08% of the students recording A1-C6 in English, as opposed to 51.6% in 2016.

For Integrated Science 65.70% recorded A1-C6 in in 2021, as opposed to 48.35% in 2016.

In respect of Mathematics 54.11% scored A1-C6 in 2021, as compared to 33.12% in 2016.

In Social Studies 66.03% obtained A1-C6 in 2021, as compared to 54.55% in 2016.

“Mr Speaker, as a result of this transformational and inclusive government intervention, about two million young people have either found a pathway to further education, training, apprenticeships, employment and a potentially prosperous future,” he said.

He added that it was President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s priority to protect the sovereign rights of the people to pursue dignified and fulfilling lives and ensured that young people were equipped with the skill set to achieve social mobility.

“Mr Speaker, the government believes that the Free SHS Policy sets a real solid foundation for our young people to compete in the global marketplace and reach even higher heights by the grace of God,” he said.


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