Economist and former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Prof. Ernest Aryeetey, is projecting that it will cost the country GHȻ3.3 billion to fund the Free Senior High School (SHS) policy in the coming academic year.
The amount, which is exclusive of salaries for staff, is almost thrice the GHS1.3 billion that was budgeted for the programme in the 2018 budget.
Making a presentation on financing free quality education in the country, Prof. Aryeetey said the string growth would be influenced by the maturity of the programme from the current two streams to three streams.
Should the status quo remain, Prof. Aryeetey said the cost of Free SHS could spiral to GHȻ5 billion per annum.
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Although positive, he said the strong growth in cost of the programme could deny funding to other sectors of the economy, thereby strangulating growth in those areas.
As a result, he called for a realistic strategy to ensure that those who can afford pay for their wards to go to SHSs.
He said that strategy could come in the form of targeting, either through schools, regions or parents and their employment histories.