The government has decided to completely cut the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) allocation for its Free Senior High School programme.
This means the government will not spend proceeds from the country’s oil resources on the programme which is entering its third year of implementation.
A report of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education on the annual budget estimates of the Ministry of Education for the 2019 financial year stated that the ministry’s 2019 budgetary allocation of GH¢12.87 billion would not be sourced from the ABFA.
Of the GH¢12.87 billion allocated to the ministry to fund its programmes and activities, GH¢1.682 billion had been earmarked for the implementation of the Free SHS programme.
Given that the Scholarship Secretariat which operates under the Office of Government Machinery has been tasked to cater for the direct funding of the Free SHS programme since 2018, the GH¢1.682 billion budgetary allocation for the programme had been penciled out of the total budgetary allocation to the ministry for the Scholarship Secretariat.
The amount has, however, been appropriately captured under the Office of Government Machinery, leaving the ministry with GH¢11.195 billion to cater for physical infrastructure and service delivery in education, a priority area that has been funded directly from the ABFA in the past.
The ABFA allocation to Physical Infrastructure and Service Delivery in Education in 2018 overshadowed allocations to other priority areas such as agriculture and service delivery in health.
For instance, out of the GH¢1.546.38 billion approved to be spent as ABFA in the year 2018, of which a total of GH¢610.18 million, representing 49.0 percent of total ABFA receipts, education alone received over GH¢417 million.