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IMF scolds Akufo-Addo over poorly targeted Free SHS initiative

IMF scolds Akufo-Addo over poorly targeted Free SHS initiative

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has described the government’s flagship Free SHS Senior High School (SHS) programme as poorly targeted.

The Fund made this observation in its latest country report on Ghana, whose request for a $3 billion bailout it recently approved.

According to the report, the Free SHS programme “which covers the full cost of secondary education, has helped increase enrollment but is poorly targeted.”

The IMF also disclosed that Ghana spends close to 4% of its GDP on education with good results in terms of enrollment but poor learning outcomes.

Key identified areas by the IMF that need potential improvement in education spending include strengthening primary education resources, better teacher training, and stronger performance-based funding practices.

In the 2023 budget government demonstrated its commitment stating that the implementation of the Free SHS Programme remained unwavering.

It also mentioned that the “total number of beneficiaries currently stands at 1.3 million students for the 2021/22 academic year” and this year, the “government will continue with the implementation of the Free SHS Programme and continue to facilitate access to various educational items.”

Meanwhile, President Akufo-Addo who spoke at a rally organised by the New Patriotic Party ahead of a bye-election in Kumawu on May 23, said President Mahama has been inconsistent in his position on the free SHS policy.

The inconsistencies, he said, do not make former President Mahama trustworthy.

In July 2022, Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta said a review of the Free Senior High School policy remains a constant possibility.

He explained that the Education Ministry continues to look at the policy with the aim of understanding how parents can be included in a manner that is not coercive.


inghananewstoday is a 24-hour new media company with a wide array of products including general news, politics, business, technology, and a specialized segment on water and sanitation (WASH) issues.

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