Finance Minister, Seth Terkper in his 2015 budget presentation in Parliament on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 has assured that President John Mahama’s agenda for quality, accessible, equitable and affordable education remains on course.
According to him, the pledge of the President during the 2014 State of the Nation Address to the august house to implement progressively free Secondary Education beginning 2015 is ready to take off as an agreed roadmap beginning with day students has been adequately catered for in this budget.
“Mr. Speaker, President Mahama’s pledge to construct additional 200 Senior High Schools by 2016 is very much on course. So far the first 50 are at various stages of completion. This budget has also made provision for the next 50. Under the World Bank supported Secondary Education Improvement Project (SEIP), an additional 23 new Senior High Schools are being constructed. Therefore this means therefore that so far funding has been secured for 123 out of the promised 200 Senior High Schools. We remain confident of meeting our target by 2016 in line with our prudent fiscal policy that all major capital projects must be fully funded before they are started,” he stated.
Still under the SEIP, the Finance Minister said 125 existing Senior High Schools are undergoing facilities upgrade, adding that 125 Heads will receive Leadership and Management training.
Again, an additional 6,500 Science, Mathematics and ICT Teachers will receive capacity building whiles scholarships will be provided for 10,000 students for their entire 3 year Senior High School duration for which 60% will be girls.
Touching on the Public University promised to Eastern Region, the Finance Minister hinted in the 2015 budget that Cabinet has approved a draft bill for the University to be sited in the region in line with government's pledge to establish at least one public university in each of the 10 regions.
“It is gladdening to note that this particular session of Parliament will be considering the Eastern University Bill. I am happy in this light to report tremendous progress in the new public universities in the Brong Ahafo and Volta Regions which this august House assisted us to establish,” he added.
He however recounted to the Chamber that work is ongoing on the conversion of all Polytechnics into Technical Universities, indicating that a roadmap agreed by Cabinet and Parliament will soon consider amendments to Acts establishing the Polytechnics.
Addressing the technical and vocational education to make it attractive to the youth, Hon. Seth Terkper said the Skills Development Fund (SDF) intervention under the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET) has so far disbursed GHs 136.5 million to 510 grantees.
He added this will also support President Mahama’s "Made-in-Ghana Initiative".
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