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Transfer of Free SHS funds to Scholarship Secretariat lawful – Gov’t

Government has dismissed suggestions that it has breached the law by allowing the Scholarship Secretariat to manage the funds meant for its flagship free Senior High School programme.

According to Deputy Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the law does not make the administration of all aspects of Education before the tertiary level the mandate of the Ghana Education Service (GES).

He argued that the funding for Free SHS, which government describes as a scholarship, could be placed under the watch of the Secretariat, whist the GES maintains administrative control of other aspects of the progamme.

“This law does not say that exclusively all aspects of pre-tertiary education including it’s scholarship functions should be brought to the GES. That’s not the intention of the law. It’s more about the administration of the substantive programme, curriculum and other things. But the scholarship aspect over the years, has sat with the Secretariat,” he said on Eyewitness News on Thursday.

“We as an administration have only argued that to the extent that the funding part of Free SHS is a scholarship, it ought to sit with the Secretariat as well so they administer it.  If there are other parts like curriculum or enrollment, the GES and other organizations can handle them.”

‘Unlawful’

The Minority in Parliament had earlier described the move as illegal.

According to the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, the educational sector laws, specifically the Act governing the operations of the Ghana Education Service, have been breached with the allocation of GHc 1.2 billion to the Secretariat.

Haruna Iddrisu said the GES under the Ministry of Education should be responsible for the Free SHS allocation “if we are respecting the laws of Ghana.”

“The Scholarship Secretariat deals with scholarships. This [the Fre SHS policy], is a major government policy of providing bursaries to ensure free secondary education… the scholarship secretariat must focus on Cuban students, Ghanaians students in Moscow.”

This assertion has been dismissed by a former Ghana Education Service Director, Charles Aheto Tsegah, who said that the government has not erred by taking such a decision.

He explained that, the basis for which the government has taken this decision is to label the Free SHS money as a scholarship.

“By labeling it as a scholarship, it moves away from the Ministry of Education budget into the account or the budget of the office of government business where the Scholarship Secretariat is located,” Mr. Tsegah explained on Eyewitness News.

In his view, “within that context, it is right for the government to say that money is a scholarship money, and it will be handled and managed by the scholarship Secretariat.”

Scholarship Secretariat can handle Free SHS funds – Aheto Tsegah

A former Ghana Education Service Director, Charles Aheto Tsegah, sees nothing wrong with the decision.

In a Citi News interview, he explained that the basis for which the government has taken this decision is to label the Free SHS money as a scholarship.

“By labeling it as a scholarship, it moves away from the Ministry of Education budget into the account or the budget of the office of government business where the Scholarship Secretariat is located,” Mr. Tsegah explained on Eyewitness News.

By: Edwin Kwakofi/citifmonline.com/Ghana

 

 

The post Transfer of Free SHS funds to Scholarship Secretariat lawful – Gov’t appeared first on Ghana News.

Source: citifmonline

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