Dr Adam made the announcement on the floor of Parliament on behalf of Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister for Finance, on Tuesday, in response to a question from Mr. Clement Abas Apaak, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Builsa South.
“Mr. Speaker, we invested GH¢3.2 billion to implement Free SHS, resulting in over 1.2 million teenagers being in secondary school now, looking forward to better opportunities in life. For their parents and families, this has translated into GH¢2.2 billion in savings,” he said.
Mr. Apaak inquired about what accounted for the huge increase in the amount invested to implement Free Senior High School (Free SHS) from GH¢3.2 billion since its inception as reported in the 2020 Mid-Year Review of the Budget Statement and Economic Policy to GH¢7.62 billion as reported in the 2021 Mid-Year Fiscal Policy Review of the Budget Statement and Economic Policy.
Dr Adam Amin clarified that the 2021 Mid-Year Fiscal Policy Review discussed the sources of financing for the Free SHS in line with the government’s interest in budget transparency.
“Mr. Speaker, over the years GH¢7.62 billion has been allocated to implement the Free SHS Programme,” he said.
He explained that the increase in allocation was a result of the growth in cohorts and enrollment, adding that, in the 2017/2018 Academic Year, total enrollment was 362,108 and that increased to 432,791 in the 2018/2019 Academic Year.
“Mr. Speaker, by the 2021/2022 Academic year, enrollment reached 465,242. Subsequent allocations increased because of the number of cohorts and for that matter, the number of enrollments has been increasing,” he told Parliament.
Dr Adam Amin said the cumulative allocation for the programme did not usually and naturally translate into the amount spent and invested in the Free SHS Programme for key two reasons; how the government was able to spend and invest depended on revenue performance and non-alignment of the financial and academic year, which required that reconcile occurred before amounts were fully paid in the next financial year.
According to him, the 2021 West African Senior School Certificate Examination results, being that of the second batch of the “Akufo-Addo graduates”, showed 54.08 per cent of the students recording A1-C6 in English, compared to the 51.6 per cent in 2016; 65.7per cent recording A1-C6 in Integrated Science in 2021, compared to the 48.35 per cent in 2016; 54.11 per cent recording A1-C6 in Mathematics, as compared to 33.12 per cent in 2016; and 66.03 per cent recording A1-C6 in Social Studies, as compared to 54.55 per cent in 2016.
“Mr. Speaker, as a result of this transformational and inclusive government intervention, about 2 million young people have either found a pathway to further education, training, apprenticeships, employment and a potentially prosperous future,” he said.
He added that it was President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s priority to protect the sovereign rights of the people to pursue dignified and fulfilling lives and ensured that young people were equipped with the skill set to achieve social mobility.
”Mr. Speaker, the government believes that the Free SHS Policy sets a real solid foundation for our young people to compete in the global marketplace and reach even higher heights by the grace of God,” he said.
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