At a meeting with the Minister of Finance to discuss the 2024 budget, a delegation from CSO-Academia put forward several crucial proposals.
Among these, they drew attention to the link between shortcomings in tertiary education and deficiencies in foundational knowledge at the basic level, which they attributed to insufficient investment in public basic education.
The delegation suggested boosting the budget allocation for the Capitation Grant to encompass all pupils attending public schools.
In a statement shared by Kofi Asare of Eduwatch, he advocated for the cancellation of the teacher and nursing trainees allowance policy.
As an alternative, he proposed enrolling all tertiary students in the student loan scheme to improve the allocation of government resources.
During the submission, Kofi Asare expressed concern regarding the quality deficits reported at the tertiary level, which are partly attributed to the foundational gaps in basic education caused by inadequate investments.
He called on the Ministry of Finance to increase the budget ceiling for the Capitation Grant from GHC 38 million to GHC 60 million, thereby covering all approximately six million public school pupils, in line with the approved GHC 10 per year since 2018.
Asare further highlighted the decline in the real value of the GHC 10 Capitation Grant, which has reduced from providing six exercise books in 2018 to only two currently. Failing to allocate the full GHC 10, thus amounting to approximately GHC 60 million, was deemed unacceptable.
The CSO-Academia delegation also raised concerns about the current state of tertiary institutions, particularly the Colleges of Education, which have become home to abandoned projects due to GETFund’s liquidity challenges.
The Ministry of Finance was urged to collaborate with GETFund and develop a continuity plan while enhancing funding through the realigned kitty from the capping policy.
Lastly, Kofi Asare urged the Finance Minister to scrap the wasteful teacher and nursing trainees allowance policy, which costs the government GHC 700 million annually.
He pointed out the irony of investing such a significant amount only to produce labour for foreign countries.
Instead, he advised that all tertiary students should enrol in the student loan scheme and emphasized the need for adequate resources to support the scheme’s effectiveness.
In light of these proposals, the Minister of Finance will need to carefully consider the recommendations put forth by the CSO-Academia delegation in order to effect positive change within Ghana’s education sector.