July 19, 2024
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Free SHS not a burden on public purse ~ John Kumah

Deputy Finance Minister Dr. John Kumah has clarified that the government’s educational policy, the Free Senior High School (Free SHS) policy, is not taking a toll on the public purse as has been speculated.

According to him, the monies spent on Free SHS cannot override the government’s total expenditure on other policies, and that the real “elephant in the room” is the country’s debt.

“It’s not true that Free SHS is a huge elephant in the room. The allocation for Free SHS in the 2023 budget was GH¢2.9 billion, and the entire appropriation for the year was GH¢228 billion. You cannot tell me that if you are spending GH¢2.9 billion out of GH¢228 billion, that is the elephant in the room. And this is covering over 1.3 million Ghanaian children. The elephant in the room is our debt, the interest payments we made,” Dr. Kumah said on Eyewitness News ahead of the 2023 mid-year budget review.

The Deputy Finance Minister emphasized the importance of Free SHS and the benefits that the vulnerable stand to gain.

“The impact and benefits of Free SHS go to the core of the vulnerable and, of course, the future of the human resource of our country. And for me, that is non-negotiable,” he stated.

He assured of the government’s commitment to achieve growth to ease the burden on the ordinary citizen.

He assured of the government’s commitment to achieve growth to ease the burden on the ordinary citizen.

“We want to achieve growth in the midst of fiscal constraints,” he said.

The Finance Minister has stepped forward to defend the initiative, emphasizing the moral responsibility to ensure that every Ghanaian child has access to education.

One of the major issues is related to feeding, with some schools struggling to provide adequate meals for their students due to funding and supply constraints.

As a result, there have been concerns that some schools may even have to consider shutting down if these problems persist.

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