Economic Policy Nana Addo's free SHS will cost GH¢400m - Finance Minister reveals

The Free SHS policy was a key campaign promise of the New Patriotic Party ahead of the 2016 elections.

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Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has revealed that the government’s free Senior High School policy is estimated to cost GH¢400 million yearly.

He said the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) will be used to fund the free SHS policy and will not rely on the Heritage fund as said by the Senior Minister Yaw Osafo Marfo.

"Mr Speaker, adequate provisions have been made for the funding of this monumental social intervention programme, which is said to begin in September 2017 from the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) and other domestic revenue sources.

READ MORE: Gov't won't touch Heritage Fund for free SHS - Finance Minister

 

"To overcome this challenge, Government will also redefine basic education to include secondary education, covering technical, vocational and agricultural education," he said.

However, Head of Economics at IMANI, Patrick Stephenson said the free Senior High School policy is will cost $600 million yearly.

According to him, the "total proceeds that we have sitting in the Petroleum Fund now – some rough computation suggest we have a little over $300 million. How much do we need to invest in free education annually? Rough computations suggest something in excess of $600million if we have to do it right and do it well."

READ MORE: Nana Addo must stay away from the Heritage Fund - ACEP

The Free SHS policy was a key campaign promise of the New Patriotic Party ahead of the 2016 elections.

According to Nana Addo, "By Free SHS, we mean that, in addition to tuition which is already free, there will be no admission fees, no library fees, no science centre fees, no computer lab fees, no examination fees, no utility fees; there will be free textbooks, free boarding and free meals, and day students will get a meal at school for free."

Minister of Finance Ken Ofori-Atta play

Minister of Finance Ken Ofori-Atta

 

READ ALSO: Nana Addo's free SHS will cost $600m yearly - IMANI

"Free SHS will also cover agricultural, vocational and technical institutions at the high school level," Nana Addo said.

The policy is set to begin in September 2017 and is estimated to cost GH¢3.6 billion yearly.

About 1.6 million eligible students between the ages of 15-17 years across the country are expected to benefit from the policy when it begins in September this year.

READ MORE: NDC set solid foundation for free SHS - Okudzeto Ablakwa

Many have since kicked against the move, saying it will not be feasible. A retired Ghanaian diplomat, K.B Asante said the implementation will not be sustainable especially with the financial situation of the country.

 

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