As the 2022 academic year draws near, the central government through the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta has disclosed the estimated budget to be spent on the country’s education from January 2023 in the next academic year.
Presenting the 2023 budget statement in Parliament, the Finance Minister said about GH¢ 9 billion will be spent on the government’s 16 flagship programmes including the popular Free Senior High School (Free SHS) policy.
Mr Ken Ofori-Atta indicated that “an amount of GH¢ 2,957,502.092 will be spent on Free Senior High School policy, GH¢ 969,000.000 on the School feeding programme and about GH¢ 241,913.000 on teacher trainees allowances.”
“Mr Speaker, the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) which provides one hot nutritious meal each day for 3,448,065 beneficiary pupils in public basic schools as of December 2021 will be sustained
In 2023, the feeding grant will be increased to reflect the current cost of living. The programme will also strengthen domestic production by sourcing locally produced food from the National Buffer Stock company,” he told Parliament.
But Africa Education Watch reacting to the budget statement has said the continuous capping of the GETFund has led to the channelling of GH¢ 2.8bilion to other sectors in spite of the accrual of GH¢ 4.6 billion to the GETFund levy.
“If the Finance Minister listen to Parliament and CSOs to uncap GETFund it would free GH¢ 2.8 billion, capable of building 80% of basic schools under trees, sheds and dilapidated structures in one just year,” EduWatch stated.
The Education thin tank has also called on the government to scrap the monthly allowance paid to prospective student trainees in public Colleges of Education saying the teacher trainees allowance is a wasteful and unnecessary policy.
It indicated that the estimated amount to be spent on the matured Colleges of Education (CoE) students as their allowance can recruit approximately 6,000 extra teachers that are urgently needed in the rural basic schools.
“The Ministry of Education must scrap this wasteful policy and prioritise its spending amid dwindling budgetary resources due to the national revenue and debt situation,” the Education Policy Research Organization said.
Mr Kofi Asare, the Executive Director of the Africa Education Watch said the trainees in the various government Colleges of Education (CoE) across the country are mature enough to cater for their feeding while in school.
“If I were an advisor to this gov’t, I would recommend that the amount being spent on teacher trainees feeding allowance each year be rather used to employ an extra 7,000 teachers,” the Education Policy Analyst stated.