A Chartered Economist has advised the government to find ways to make the free SHS sustainable, as it has no plans to review it, as some have suggested.
Mr. Emmanuel Amoah Darkwah stated that the government has remained consistent in its position that the policy will not be reviewed despite several suggestions.
”And so, if the government intends to maintain the policy in its current form, then there should be ways to make it sustainable.”
He stated that the policy is taking a toll on government spending because “the amount we are spending on this policy is a lot of money.” And investments that could have gone to other sectors are being pumped into free SHS, depriving other sectors all in the name of this what we want to do.”
He also suggested that we sustain it [free SHS] by looking at the cost items. Buffer Stock should be directly linked to Planting for Food and Jobs. What do free SHS students eat: rice, gari, and maize? These commodities should be linked to government policy so that when yam season arrives, students should be encouraged to eat yam. Planting for Food and Jobs should help to reduce the cost of the feeding component of the policy. However, if we continue to import the rice they eat, it will increase the budget for free SHS.”
Mr. Amoah Darkwah told Kwabena Agyapong on Rainbow Radio 87.5fm’s Frontline that the government has maintained its position that free SHS should not be reviewed and made component-based. But how can we make it sustainable if the government is unwilling to make it component-based?
We make it sustainable by looking at the structure and how we can get some reduction and even save some money through procurement under the policy. That is how we can make the policy sustainable.