Eduwatch Africa Executive Director Kofi Asare says the government is not telling Ghanaians the truth about the true cost of the Free SHS policy.
He insists the government has given conflicting figures on the cost of the policy since its launch in 2017.
According to him, the figures are revised downwards.
speaking on Joy FM‘s Super Morning Show on Tuesday, Mr Asare said there were integrity issues the government needed to address.
He said the amount shown as total spending for the policy last year is not in tandem with that of this year.
“The government’s own account of how much it has spent on the Free SHS policy since 2017 keeps changing and evolving. It keeps changing not increasing but fluctuating. Around this time last year, the Minister of Finance addressed them in the middle of the year and he claimed that 7.62 trillion yen had been transferred to politics so far. since 2017.”
“Now, a year later, when we have actually added numbers, yesterday the same minister came to the house and said that the total amount the government has spent on free SHS is now 5.3 billion of ¢, more than 2 billion ¢ less than what was reported last year.
“So we’re asking the question that as the years go by and more people are enrolled in the policy, the cumulative cost to the government goes down, which is not possible. So that means there is a data integrity issue somewhere,” he said.
Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta during the mid-year budget review said 5.3 billion yen had been invested in the policy so far.
According to him, this investment has benefited 1,261,495 Ghanaian children.
On the back of that, he said the government’s main flagship program, Free SHS, will not be reviewed.
“It has been at the heart of our national transformation efforts since 2017. We have invested €5.3 billion to enable 1,261,495 Ghanaian children to access secondary education under the Free SHS program at the end of of 2021 in order to improve access to education”.
“Of the 571,892 registered JHS applicants, 555,353, or 97.1%, were placed in SHS this year.”