Funding free SHS with Heritage Fund is a ‘Sensible idea’ – Kwesi Pratt

The Managing Editor of the Insight Newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jnr has labelled the idea of ruling New Patriotic Party government to use percentage of the Heritage Fund to fund the free Senior High School (SHS) promise as ‘Sensible idea’.

Speaking on Adom FM’s Morning Show, ‘Dwaso Nsem’,on February 16 2017, Kwesi Pratt Jnr, stated that he has always been against the idea of keeping some monies for future generation yet unborn when the monies could be invested now for maximum benefits in the future.

“I fully agree that education not just at the SHS but at all levels must be made free, the basic one must be compulsory and all who fail to take advantage must be punished… I am of the opinion that rather than pack monies for future generation, we should invest in things that would be profitable to them, there is more sense in that.
“I don’t have any trouble with the government if it seeks to use the Heritage Fund to take care of children in school and that is what I believe in…,”
Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo, revealed Wednesday that government would review the Heritage Fund component in the Petroleum Management Act in order to use the proceeds to finance President Nana Akufo-Addo’s Free Senior High School (SHS) policy.

Early this week, senior minister, Nana Yaw Osafo Maafo reiterated that the decision to tap in the Heritage Fund to make the Free SHS a reality has become necessary because the government wants to invest significant revenue generated from the oil industry to fund major sectors like education since it has the potential of building a good foundation for the country.

According to him, the whole idea of making education free at all levels is something he supports as it started from Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s regime.

In Kwesi Pratt Jnr’s point of view, it was very possible to make education free because a country with less resources like Cuba was doing same.

However, His only qualm, he said was with the constant inconsistency in the debates by proponents of the use of portions of the Heritage Fund to support education as the same people kicked against the argument when it cropped up during the administration of former President John Mahama.

“When Mahama was in power and the issue of Heritage Fund cropped up, I said it was never a good idea because money doesn’t have a constant value and depreciates by time, if we want a good future for children and grandchildren, it is about investing in education, if we do not build infrastructure, our future is very bleak…the people kicking against the use of the Heritage Fund did not start today, it’s from NDC time, they are being consistent and only repeating what they said during NDC government reign.”
“It’s good the NPP are now seeing the sense in what some of us proposed during the time of NDC…they have to tell us what was wrong with them when they opposed us then,” he argued.
He further called on the government to come clear on the actual sources of money to fund the free SHS apart from the Heritage Fund since the money in the fund is not enough.

Addind that, it would not be in the best interest of the country to rely on donor support as the economies of major foreign donors are now on their knees.

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