University and Senior High school education has become outrageously expensive.
That’s the verdict of the Minority in Parliament on Ghana’s educational system.
They believe astronomical increases in the cost of education are forcing many Ghanaians, especially parents to resort to illegitimate means to make ends meet.
According to the group, whilst fees in the senior high schools have witnessed a 170 percent increase in the last three years, the situation is even worse in the tertiary institutions.
Minority spokesperson on education, Professor Dominic Fobih told journalists at a news conference in Accra today, “the cost of education is becoming unbearable and out of reach of the ordinary Ghanaian”.
He cited for instance between 2008/2009 academic year and 2014/2015 academic year, university fees have increased by 738.2% in Humanities; 732.9% in Administration, Science and Agriculture; and 658.7% in Applied Sciences.
“No wonder most people these days are resorting to illegitimate means to make ends meet. Bribery and corruption are rampant and become the order of the day and the slogan, ‘the end justifies the means’ has become the catchphrase,” he said.
The former education minister also said despite government claims of achieving quality education at the basic level, figures available rather shows a gloomy picture for the sector.
Prof. Fobih also said non-payment of money to the statutory funds is resulting in low enrolment, strikes and inadequate provisions of educational materials.
“Senior High School students’ subsidy for feeding are always in arrears for months and heads of public senior high schools often have to threaten to close down schools before portions of arrears are released to them. Subsidy allocation of GHC8.7 million (38%) out of GHC22.7 million for senior high school students in 2010/2011 academic year was not released.
“In 2010 and 2011, Government budgeted Ghc35.5 million and Ghc36 million for capitation grant and subsidy for basic education examination respectively, but just Ghc28.7 million and Ghc21.6 million representing a shortfall of 19.2% and 40% respectively.
“Heads of public senior high schools often had to resort to crisis management or contain agitations either by students over poor quality food or distressed teachers who themselves had to look elsewhere to circumvent their income all of which turn to lower the morale of both teachers and students and hence negatively impacts on the quality of education”.
These, he said, are a testimony of the government’s lack of interest in the education sector.