Further, he said the President’s commitment to free education from primary to university was still on course.
“Mr Speaker, from kindergarten to university, without the ability to pay to be a hindrance, Free Secondary and TVET education is not under review. We will continue to fund and improve them,” he said on the floor of Parliament on Monday.
There had been speculations about the prospect of the Free Senior High School (Free SHS) policy being reviewed, but delivering the Mid-year Budget Review, Mr Ofori-Atta clarified that the government had no such intentions.
The Mid-Year Budget Review of the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government for the 2022 financial year is in fulfilment of section 28 of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921) and Regulation 24 of the Public Financial Management Regulation (L.I.2378).
Mr Ofori-Atta emphasised the government’s interest in human capital development.
“Mr Speaker, it has been at the core of our national transformation efforts since 2017.
We have invested GH¢5.3 billion to enable 1,261,495 Ghanaian children to access secondary education under the Free SHS programme at the end of 2021 to improve access to education.
“Out of the 571,892 registered Junior High School (JHS) candidates, 555,353, representing 97.1 per cent, were placed into SHS this year,” he said.
He told Parliament that the government was not ignorant of the challenges in accessing and transporting food for students in Senior High Schools (SHS) and was fixing them.
“Mr Speaker, in response, we have engaged stakeholders and devised a programme that ensures that schools will not be disrupted and that our students are well-fed.
The government has also recently completed 17 additional projects including classroom blocks, dormitories, staff bungalows and libraries as part of the infrastructural expansion in Senior High Schools.
To deal with the record increases in student numbers,” he said.
Mr Ofori-Atta maintained that the government would not yield on its commitment to allowing everyone to be educated.
The Free SHS policy had been under scrutiny because of supply challenges with food items.