By Seth Ayiah
The Ministry of Education has been urged to prioritize basic education infrastructure in the 2023 GETFund formula in light of the growing number of schools operating under trees and in dilapidated structures to ensure that at least a third of GETFund’s discretionary expenditure benefit from the basic education infrastructure.
The Ministry should also prioritize spending efficiency and inclusive governance.
These were part of recommendations contained in the Africa Education Watch report on Analysis of the 2023 Education Budget. The report also stressed the Ministry to adopt an equitable and inclusive education financing framework for formalizing already existing opportunities for parental contribution to financing basic and secondary education.
The report said despite President Akuffo Addo’s appointment as the Global Partnership for Education, GPE champion to promote the Heads of State declaration of committing at least 15-20 percent of Government spending on education, Ghana for the first time in about two decades, failed to meet the international financing benchmark in education with as low as 12.97 per cent of the government’s expenditure going into education.
This has the report said has negative implications on achieving and sustaining key targets in the Education Strategic Plan (2018-2030). It said there are significant inequities in education spending among the various levels of education with more attention going to secondary education to the detriment of the other levels.
This is evident in the proportion of the government’s discretionary budget from Goods and Services and CAPEX that is going into secondary education, compared to basic education, special and inclusive education, and the other sub-sectors.
It further stated that with the exception of the free SHS/TVET which received an increased allocation of about 30 percent, basic education, special education and tertiary education all experienced significant reductions in their Goods and Services budgets, with basic education and special education experiencing about 40 percent decline in allocation compared to 2022.
This negatively affects the government’s ability to remove the over 5,000 schools under trees, sheds and dilapidated structures, and provide desks for the 40 percent of pupils without desks in basic schools.