A former Education Minister under the Rawlings regime, Dr. Spio Garbrah mocked the government’s much touted “Free SHS policy” arguing that it is not achievable.
“There can never be free education because parents must have some responsibility for their children’s education. Total freedom is not desirable and that explains the NDC, the NPP and the CPP past government’s inability to provide free education.”
He sarcastically admonished government to include “One student-one guinea fowl” to complete the concept if it is achievable.
Dr. Spio Garbrah was addressing the 17th Annual Delegates Congress of the University Students Association of Ghana on the theme, “Exploring alternative avenues for funding university education: the role of stakeholders,” held at the University for Development Studies Tamale City campus, Dungu.
He nonetheless proffered alternative sources for funding university education by admonishing government to plug tax loopholes and use a chunk of the revenue to fund education.
According to him, universities Internally Generated Funds alone are woefully inadequate for funding projects and thus challenged the authorities to be business oriented.
He tasked university authorities to build stadia, more conference halls and provide catering services to organizations.
He also called on university authorities to form joint ventures with the private sector through agribusiness and entreated traditional rulers to establish education endowment funds to support needy but brilliant students.
He further appreciated the role of religious bodies in the education sector and urged them to do more.
Pro Vice Chancellor of the University for Development Studies, Professor Seidu Alhassan bemoaned universities inadequate resources making it impossible for expansion of structures and students intake.
“Dwindling nature of the 60% funding from government is so worrisome and we don’t even get what we ask for in our budgets presented to government.”
“Alternative sources of revenue mobilization for university education funding is very paramount because the GETfund allocation is minimal.”
He described as a daunting task government’s request for 3.4% of universities IGF to be paid into the national kitty.
Professor Seidu Alhassan called for transparency and accountability in the process of Parliamentary approval of university fees.”
Deputy Northern Regional Minister, Solomon Boar reiterated government’s free SHS policy implementation by September.
He said government was determined to improve educational standards as means of augmenting the human resource base.