As a result of funding challenges facing the free Senior High School (SHS) policy, the President of Ashesi University, Patrick Awuah, has proposed the establishment of a voluntary fund raising programme within the school system, that will allow people to voluntarily contribute towards the policy.
The government implemented the free Senior High School program in September 2017, in fulfillment of a major campaign promise in the run up to the 2016 election.
There has however been some challenges with funding and logistics since the programme took off.
Speaking on Citi TV’s current affairs program, the Point of View, Patrick Awuah asked government to adopt other best practices around the world to tackle these challenges.
Mr. Awuah believes another viable policy that could save the situation will be government’s decision to focus more on day schools rather than boarding schools.
“Free SHS is a done deal. It is happening and I do not see it reversing. Now the question is how do we make it sustainable and how do we make it high quality. One of the ways to make it sustainable is to develop a fund raising capability within the schools, asking people to voluntarily contribute funds to the institution, not mandating them.”
“Another way to make it sustainable is to do what most high schools in the world that are free do; which is they are not boarding schools. If you go to any country that has 100 percent enrollment in high school, those are not boarding schools. Yes, there are a few boarding schools but the vast majority of schools are day schools so that the state is not building dormitories, buying beds, feeding kids ” he said.
Voluntary education fund
In 2017, government had indicated that it was in the process of setting up a fund to receive voluntary contributions from individuals to support the implementation of the free SHS programme and the education sector as a whole.
Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta
This was disclosed by the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, when he presented the 2018 budget statement
Ghana’s education sector has been saddled with inadequate infrastructure and teaching materials, low pay for teachers particularly at the basic and SHS level.
The implementation of the free SHS policy suffered some setbacks as well, as some schools were faced with the challenge of inadequate infrastructure among others.
Government had indicated that it will use proceeds from the oil revenue to support the programme.
Ashesi University finally receives Presidential Charter
President Nana Akufo-Addo in May 2018 granted a Presidential Charter to Ashesi University College, making it an independent degree-granting institution.
The Charter was formally presented to Ashesi at the University’s 2018 Graduation Ceremony.
A letter signed by the Minister of State for Tertiary Education, Prof Kwesi Yankah, said the Charter was granted after a thorough assessment of the University’s facilities and qualifications by the National Accreditation Board.
By: Marian Ansah/citinewsroom.com/Ghana