Source: Daily Guide
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Asene/Akroso/Manso, Yaw Owusu-Boateng, has questioned government’s commitment to making education in the country more accessible and affordable.
He said the cost of secondary education and tertiary education was becoming very expensive each passing year, and wondered how the average Ghanaian who earns GH¢1,360 a year per the gross domestic product (GDP) provided in this year’s budget could take care of his children in a secondary school where fees for a term is GH¢700 and also at the university level where a student is charged between GH¢2,000 and GH¢7,000 a year as tuition fees.
Hon. Owusu-Boateng, who was speaking on the Floor of Parliament on Monday, said the GDP of GH¢34 billion given in the budget means that every Ghanaian would earn an average of GH¢1,360 a year, which makes it woefully inadequate to even take care of one child in either secondary school or tertiary institution.
He said the government’s so-called intention to improve access to education could only be seen as propaganda because access to education at the secondary school level was still a major problem.
He said what was more worrying was the fact that the government intends to rely on the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) for the funding of the capitation grant and scholarships and payment of subsidies to the junior high school and senior high schools, but the GETFund itself has been in arrears over one year.
“The government collects the money for GETFund and does not pay into the fund,” he said, adding that managers of junior high schools and senior high schools must be prepared to suspend the running of such institutions because they were definitely going to be starved of funds.
“As I am speaking to you, subsidies for the third term of last academic year and first term of this academic year for public senior high schools are in arrears thus making the running of the schools increasingly difficult,” he said.
The Asene/Akroso/Manso MP also chastised the government for not paying much attention to quality in public basic schools, saying that provision of basic teaching and learning materials such as chalk and teaching notes were not provided on time while many school buildings of basic schools were dilapidated without electricity, water and toilets.
He said the government must also stop making a fuss about the provision of 200 community senior high schools in deprived areas, stressing that construction of most of the first 50 community schools that started at the beginning of the year was at standstill.
The Minister of Education, Prof Jane Nana Opoku-Agyeman, disclosed that the government was doing its best to improve education in the country.