Funding problems in schools should be blamed on the Finance Ministry – Eduwatch boss

Funding problems in schools should be blamed on the Finance Ministry – Eduwatch boss

Mr Kofi Asare, Executive Director of Africa Education Watch, has bemoaned toll the financial constraints have taken on the education sector in Ghana.

He described the capitation grant, for example, as a “Trojan horse” because of its attendant challenges attributing the consistent funding problems in Ghana’s education sector to failings in the architecture of the capitation grant.

Expressing his view on Citi FM on Wednesday, May 11, 2022, Mr Asare said delays in the disbursement of capitation grants were a consistent problem he had observed.

“It means that we haven’t redesigned the financing architecture for the capitation grant,” he noted.

“If we continue with the current system where the whole thing is centralized… all the time, the capitation grant will get to the schools at the end of the academic year.”

The delay in the disbursement of funds has also affected the running of secondary schools in Ghana.

Allocated funds have not been fully disbursed for the purchase of foodstuffs, among others.

“The most reliable source of funding for Free Senior High School, which is the ABFA [Annual Budget Fund Allocation], was even in arrears of about 50 per cent in terms of disbursement and execution,” Mr Asare said.

In that case, there is no cash to be sent to Buffer Stock to pay the suppliers. So it is not a Ministry of Education problem. It is not a Buffer Stock [Company] problem. It is because the Ministry of Finance is not liquid,” he added.

Also speaking on the show, the Builsa South MP, Dr Clement Apaak, said the capping of statutory funds was affecting GETFund negatively.

“The capping has led to a situation where GETFund is not getting the full complement of the funding that should go there.”

Also, Mr Apaak noted that the Free Senior High School policy was negatively affecting basic education funding.

“Since the introduction of the Free Senior High School policy, those of us in the sector have noticed visibly the lack of attention that, hitherto, was being paid to basic education.”

Dr Apaak stressed that “we ought to be doing more to ensure that the basic sector of our educational system is robust and fit for purpose.”

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