Minority leader of Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu, has lauded Akufo-Addo’s flagship education programme, the Free Senior High School, which is set offer total free education to all second cycle students in public institutions from this academic year.
Though he said the initiative is “noble”, he questioned the sustainability of the sources of funding for the programme that requires a total of GH¢486 million this academic year. Government last Thursday released GH¢280 million as part payment of the total sum through the Ministry of Education to all the 647 schools across the country.
Speaking at a durbar after the National Democratic Congress Unity Walk in Tamale Saturday, he said what the government is currently doing is experimenting with the source of funding; something he argued was exhibiting failure and has the potential to threaten the education of the students.“The idea of senior high school is a noble, social and political educational objective, but, the pursuit of it must be premised on adequate, reliable, sustainable financing not experimenting finance,” he advised.
Mr Iddrisu asked the government to take a cue from the GETFund, which was introduced by the NDC government in 1997 to support tertiary education in the country.
“Just like the NDC did in 1997 when we had challenges in financing tertiary education we built national consensus which resulted in the GETFUND,” he said.
Mr Iddrisu, who is the Member of Parliament for Tamale Central, underscored the need for the government to consult stakeholders with the view to finding sustainable funding options, saying ,“We’re inviting the President for a dialogue…on the financing of senior high school in other to safeguard what is currently happening”
He added: “we know and we say with certainty without fear of contradiction that the President cannot finance [it] and the economy cannot contain and finance the free senior high school. We need to be united as a country on how to finance it because it is manifesting gargantuan failure and we will not sit down and watch him jeopardize the future of our country”.