General News of Friday, 5 April 2019
Government has set aside US$1.5billion GETFUND financing for educational infrastructure in the various Senior High Schools across the country, Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has said.
Speaking at a Town Hall Meeting in Accra, Dr. Bawumia, said the US$1.5billion will be used to build infrastructure such as school blocks and dormitories.
It will be used for critical education infrastructure, especially to complete the numerous uncompleted buildings in secondary and tertiary institutions.
Checks by the B&FT have revealed that a proposal to secure up to US$1.5billion long-term financing for GETFUND, on the back of a portion of VAT receivables as prescribed in Act 581, which will be issued in three tranches of US$500million has already been presented to Parliament.
The US$1.5billion GETFUND money is an attempt by government to tackle some of the challenges which came with introduction of the Free SHS in 2017, which brought in an additional 90,000 students who would have missed out on SHS education.
In 2018, enrolment increased by 36 percent – meaning an additional 181,000 students had a chance to access secondary education.
This has put enormous pressure on the existing infrastructure, which various commentators have urged government to resolve.
This is expected to ease the congestion and some of the challenges that came with introduction of the Free SHS.
The Ministry of Education received a budgetary allocation of GH¢12.87billion for the 2019 financial year, of which GH¢1.682 billion was earmarked for implementation of the Free SHS programme.
The Scholarship Secretariat, which operates under the Office of Government Machinery, has been tasked to cater for direct funding of the Free SHS programme since 2018; the GH¢1.682billion budgetary allocation for the programme had been pencilled out of the total budgetary allocation to the ministry for the Scholarship Secretariat.