The Executive Director of Africa Education Watch, Kofi Asare, has lamented the financial constraints crippling the education sector in Ghana.
Mr. Asare described the capitation grant, for example, as a “Trojan horse” because of its attendant challenges.
He blamed the challenges in the consistent funding of education in Ghana on failings in the architecture of the capitation grant.
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, Mr. Asare said delays in the disbursement of capitation grant 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 dispersed for the purchase of foodstuff, among others.
“The most reliable source of funding for Free Senior High School, which is the ABFA, was even in arrears of about 50 percent 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.”
He also said 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.”