The Ghanaian government should consider cost sharing in the free senior high school (FSHS) policy, the Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS) said Monday.
In a communique issued at the end of the 60th annual conference, the heads of senior high schools observed that the government alone cannot bear the cost of secondary education.
According to the group, it acknowledges the huge and unprecedented budgetary allocation of the government towards the implementation of the FSHS policy and education in general.
It is therefore urging the government to allow parents and guardians to bear part of the cost to cut down on its expenditure.
“The government should consider the issue of cost sharing theory.” It has become abundantly clear that the government alone cannot totally foot the cost of education. ” The government must therefore offset some of the cost to parents/guardians,” the communique signed by the CHASS national president, Yakub Ahmad Bin Abubakar, said.
CHASS recommends that the components to be offset to parents must include and not necessarily be limited to the feeding of both day and boarding students.
The secondary school heads also urged the government to ensure the timely and adequate release of funds to day senior high schools in order for them to carry out their programs.
Ghana’s former president, John Dramani Mahama, among other civil society groups, has called on the government to reconsider burden sharing in the running of free secondary education in the country.
The free SHS policy is a government of Ghana program introduced by the administration of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in September 2017.
Per the policy, every child in Ghana who qualifies for and is placed in a public senior high or technical and vocational school for his/her secondary education will have his/her fees absorbed by the government.
The policy’s core themes of access, equity, and equality fulfil the United Nations’ sustainable development goals (SDGs), where member countries amalgamate those themes in their educational systems to certify adequate learning experiences for students towards lifelong learning.
Goal 4 of the UN SDGs states, “By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable, and quality primary and secondary education, leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes.”
It has therefore been a priority of the Ghana government to ensure that education is made free from basic to secondary level to afford more children the opportunity to access quality education.
The country’s Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, told the country’s Parliament during the presentation of the 2021 mid-year review budget that a total of 1,261,125 students have benefited from the policy since its introduction.
The government announced that it has allocated a total amount of 7.62 billion Ghana cedis for the implementation of the free school policy over the past 5 years. Enditem