Ghana has spent GH¢7.62bn on Free SHS in 5 years — Ofori-Atta

The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta has disclosed that that nation has spent a whopping GH¢7.62bn on the flagship ‘Free SHS’ policy.

Ken Ofori-Atta

He, however, said the amount spent had been internally generated and that the government has never taken a loan to fund the policy.

In an address to Parliament, Mr. Ofori-Atta said GH¢4.18 billion out of the amount representing 54.76 per cent, was sourced from the government of Ghana (GoG), while the remaining GH¢3.44 billion, representing 45.24 per cent, came from Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA).

“Mr Speaker, the government has taken no loan to specifically finance the free SHS policy which has since its inception been financed from the ABFA and the GoG funding sources,” he said.

The Finance Minister said the Free SHS policy was instituted to ensure that no child was denied access to education.

Interventions under the policy, he said, included tuition, meals for both boarders and day students, textbooks, library fee, boarding, science laboratory, examination and utility fees.

He told the House that student enrolment at the SHS level had increased from 881,600 in 2016 to 1,261,125 in 2021 primarily due to the policy.

According to him, five years after the implementation of the policy, 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 per cent of all candidates who scored grade A in all subjects at the 2020 West African Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE),” he said.

Mr Ofori-Atta disclosed this on the floor of Parliament when he answered a question by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Builsa South, Dr Clement A. Apaak, who wanted to know if the government took a loan or loans to finance the implementation of the Free SHS policy.

JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: eyewitness@pulse.com.gh