Ghana’s Ministry of Education budget allocation raises concerns for education funding in 2023_ Kofi Asare

The Executive Director of Africa Education Watch, a think tank focused on education in Africa, has raised concerns about the allocation of funding in Ghana’s Ministry of Education (MoE) budget for the year 2023.
In a series of Facebook posts, the director highlighted that the allocation for the Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE) program, which serves over 6 million children, has decreased by 43% from GHC 292 million in 2022 to GHC 167 million in 2023.
In contrast, the allocation for the Free Senior High School (fSHS) and Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programs has increased by 28% from GHC 2.3 billion to around GHC 3 billion, benefiting around 1.3 million children. The director pointed out that these cuts will likely lead to ongoing deficits and arrears for textbooks, learning materials, capitation grants, and feeding grants for special schools.
The director also referred to a report by the Master Card Foundation (MCF), which found that across Africa, there is a risk of a trade-off between free basic education and free secondary education due to resource constraints.
The MCF advised that this trade-off can be avoided if countries adopt cost-efficient approaches to free secondary education. In Ghana’s 2023 budget, the director noted that this trade-off is evident.
Additionally, the director criticized the fact that Ghana’s 2023 education budget as a percentage of GDP is only 3.09% and forms only 12.97% of total government expenditure, falling below international benchmarks and contradicting the commitment made by Ghana’s President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, as the Global Partnership for Education Champion to advocate for at least 20% of national budgets and 4-6% of GDP to be allocated to education.
The director called for education to be made a national priority in the national budget. Despite these concerns, the director also welcomed news of a contract between the MoE and Complementary Basic Education (CBE) service providers to reach 70,000 out-of-school children in underserved areas with CBE, through a collaboration between the government of Ghana and development partners.
The director expressed support for School for Life, a partner in the project, and wished them success in reducing the number of out-of-school children in northern Ghana.”
Source: Informed Teachers Network

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