Yaw Osei Adutwum, the Minister for Education says the flagship Free Senior High School (Free SHS) policy introduced in 2017 under IMF will not be cancelled as the government seek a bailout from the International Monetary Fund.
Speaking on Pure FM’s Morning Drive monitored by AcademicWeek, the Education Minister said has been told cancellation of social intervention programmes including the Free SHS policy is out of conditionalities for the bailout.
“What I have been told is the Free Senior High School program will not be cancelled as we seek the IMF bailout. We introduced Free SHS in 2017 under the Fund. Free SHS will not change or be scrapped” Dr Adutwum told Pure FM.
Asked if the central government’s decision to seek an IMF bailout is a result of mismanagement, the Minister in charge of Education replied the move is a step in the right direction to strengthen the country’s economy amid Covid-19.
“The government is not going to IMF because of mismanagement and Ghana is not the only country going to the Monetary Fund for support. We have been hit by the global pandemic and the ongoing Ukraine War,” he noted.
In line with Osei Yaw, the Ministry of Finance has said government flagship policy, Free Senior High School (Free SHS) and other social interventions will not be cancelled amid the central government’s decision to seek an IMF bailout.
The Finance Ministry in a document to clarify whether Free Senior High School will be cancelled should the government seek support from the Fund said IMF programmes are flexible, hence the free school program is safe.
“Free SHS 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 as part of its fiscal adjustment but to preserve priority social spending, including on health and education,” the Ministry stated.