Oppong Nkrumah responds to IMF’s criticism of government’s Free SHS programme

Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has responded to the International Monetary Fund’s description of the government’s Free Senior High School programme as poorly targeted.

According to him, from the onset, government had emphatically stated that the Free SHS will not be for a select few but for all students who passed the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).

“I think right from the beginning government said that we were not going to start the Free Senior High School programme by targeting some and excluding some and that indeed all of those who qualified for senior high school were going to be beneficiaries.

“I think therefore that it is not news if somebody comes to view that the targeting is poor because we ourselves have said from the beginning that we are actually not going to be starting off by targeting anybody,” he said.

Speaking on the midday news on JoyFM, he explained that while designing the programme, the government was concerned about achieving maximum impact.

His comments come on the back of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) describing the Free SHS programme as poorly targeted.

The Fund made this observation in its latest country report on Ghana, whose request for a $3 billion bailout it recently approved.

According to the report, the Free SHS programme “which covers the full cost of secondary education, has helped increase enrollment but is poorly targeted.”

However, the Ofoase-Ayirebi MP insists that the programme was in it early stages, therefore, it is open to all qualified students but in subsequent years it will be reviewed.

“If you compare to what they did in some states in America, this is how they started it and as the year went by then some more targeting was done. Which is exactly what we have announced from the 21st of March, 2020,” he added.

Mr Nkrumah continued that “moving forward, all sixteen flagship programmes will be up for review so that if you have to now amend some of them or re-target some of them, then were get into that space.”

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Source: myjoyonline.com

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