President of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Mr Angel Carbonu, has called on the government to make known the amount of money allotted for the Free Senior High School programme next year.
In the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy to Parliament, he said the government did not state “clearly” the amount of money it would use to run the programme and said it was of interest to stakeholders.
Mr Carbonu, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy, said the Free SHS programme was a major government policy for which reason the citizenry must know its budget and government’s commitment to its continuous effective implementation.
He also called for the timely release of funds for the programme to lessen the burden of school management and teachers.
Mr Carbonu said the current economic realities had eroded the value of the percentage increase of public sector workers and said NAGRAT, together with other public-sector labour unions, would go back to the negotiation table on the percentage of their salary increment.
The NAGRAT President said they were also not in support of the 1.75 per cent tax imposed on electronic transactions because their work as teachers involved the use of the internet for research and learning.
“Whether you are a newly recruited teacher or an old teacher in the system, you will need to do e-transactions by way of filling forms, so we are worried about the tax imposed,” he added.
The Free Senior High School (FSHS) education policy is a government initiative introduced in September 2017 to provide education at the SHS free for students.
Under the policy, every child in Ghana who qualifies for and is placed in a public Senior High School for his secondary education will have their fees absorbed by the government.
The programme offers children who otherwise could not have furthered their education after Junior High School due to financial challenges the chance to get to SHS.
Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance, on July 23, 2021, told Parliament that the government had allocated a total amount of GH¢7.62 billion for the implementation of the Free Senior High School programme from 2017 to 2021.