The Executive Director of Africa Education Watch (Eduwatch), Kofi Asare, has said that his outfit and other policy analysts in Ghana have been vindicated by the comment of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that the government’s flagship programme, Free Senior High School (FSHS), was poorly targeted.
According to Mr. Asare, since the introduction of the Free SHS Programme, Eduwatch and other policy analysts have mentioned poor targeting and inefficiency of the programme as some of its shortcomings.
“There is nowhere in the world that free education covers both boarding and day, and where everyone is fed,” he said.
“Ours is a wholesale free one which every educationalist will find a challenge in its sustainability.”
Kofi Asare was speaking on TV3’s Ghana Tonight on Monday, May 22.
He emphasized that the sustainability of the programme is questionable, especially under the prevailing difficult economic circumstances in the country.
Mr. Asare noted that the government could have spent less while making the policy very effective, if it had heeded to the advice offered by the numerous stakeholders.
However, the government turned a deaf ear to all the suggestions.
The educationist posited that although the government is spending about GH¢3 billion to cover food, school uniforms and tuition fees under the policy, some students are unable to enroll into senior high schools because of high cost of items on the prospectus.
“But if only this social intervention by the Ghanaian government had been well targeted, it would have been possible for government to provide extra funding for such issues,” Mr. Asare stressed.
He noted that the Free Senior High School policy is a laudable, however, “it should be revised so government can really pay attention to the special needs that inhibits the very poor from accessing secondary education in the country, since the purpose of every social intervention is to save money to focus on the peculiar needs of the poor among the society.”