The Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta has proposed a voluntary education fund to support the Free Senior High School programme of the government.
Mr Ofori-Atta was in Parliament on Wednesday to present the 2018 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the government and said the fund, when set up, will be independent of the Ghana Educational Trust Fund (GETFund) and serve the sole purpose of financing the free SHS initiative.
He explained that the proposal had come out of several recommendations and that the Ministry would work with GETFund to set up the education fund to enable Ghanaians to make voluntary contributions to support education.
“…….with the successful launch of the FREE SHS, the government has received proposals from the public, several of which encourage the establishment of a fund to receive voluntary contributions to support education. Thankfully the GETFund law allows for the setting up of other education-related funds”.
So far the policy has benefitted some 424,092 students who are currently in their first year in public senior high schools across the country.
Other education-related statements in the budget include;
•Government absorbed 70 percent of the 2017 BECE registration fees as subsidies for all registered candidates in both public and private JHSs. In 2018, the government will absorb 100 percent BECE registration fees for registered candidates from public Junior High Schools.
•The Ministry will next year begin the infrastructural works towards the introduction of the Basic Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (BSTEM) programme in all basic schools. This initiative is intended to strengthen the foundational skills and generate interest in mathematics, science and technology. This will involve the provision of equipment to over 38,000 public basic schools, training over 38,000 basic school teachers in the delivery of BSTEM and the establishment of 10 well-equipped Regional BSTEM centres.
There was also a proposal for the employment of 100,000 people in 2018 under the Nation Builders Corps program, which will be housed under the Office of the President as a special initiative.