SEND Ghana says, 60 percent of GETFund’s GHS928 million budgetary allocation for 2018 must be judiciously expended to critically address infrastructural deficit at the basic and Senior High School levels.
The organization has expressed concerns that the 6 percent of the educational sector’s allocation for capital expenditure is inadequate to complete ongoing projects under the sector.
It suggested that government considers increasing allocation to capital expenditure in the 2018 supplementary educational budget by earmarking significant proportion of revenues from the extractive and the non-renewable sector.
At a media engagement session to analyze the 2018 Education Sector Budget in Accra, SEND Ghana noted that, the 6 percent is meager to complete the rehabilitation of 50 school structures and the construction of the 200 Kindergarten blocks stipulated in the budget in addition to the rehabilitation of 76 dilapidated school structures.
“As we speak, the 80 kindergarten blocks that were begun in 2017, had not been completed not to talk of the 200 proposed in this year’s budget,” SEND Ghana’s Senior Programme Officer, Harriet Nuamah Agyemang, disclosed.
She noted that the implementation of the Free SHS Policy has led to increased enrolment, exposing the infrastructural deficit and logistical challenge which is affecting the smooth running of the programme.
“That is why the GETfund must not use the major part of its budget for sponsoring students to study abroad but such funds should be channeled to infrastructure and logistics at the basic and the SHS levels,” she advised.
Harriet Nuamah Agyemang added that government’s proposal to set up a voluntary fund to finance the Free SHS programme lacks clarity in terms of how much is being targeted, how that target is going to be met and how the initiative would sustain the programme.
However, a Planning Officer of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Robert Ntiful, said the Service’s budgetary allocation of GHS5.9 billion for the 2018 to 2019 academic year, would be expended wisely.
He explained that the construction of the 80 kindergarten blocks that begun last year, is still ongoing as contractors are sometimes slow due to pre-financing anomalies.
He indicated that GES does not construct schools as all construction works is funded by GETfund with renovation and rehabilitation works done by the various district assemblies.
By Wisdom Jonny-Nuekpe