The National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) and Eduwatch have petitioned Parliament to call for an urgent removal of the capping of the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund).
According to the group, there has been a decline in the funding of education as a result of the capping of the GETFund.
“Our concern primarily stems from the concerns of declining funding for education which emanates from GETFund. Act 947 especially for the GETFund part is an enemy of the progress of education in Ghana,” the group said.
Presenting the petition to the Education Committee of Parliament on March 16, the National President of NUGS, Dennis Appiah Larbi Ampofo explained that the waning of funds has negatively affected the allocation of the Student Loan Trust Fund and other educational agencies.
“Our biggest problem started in 2023 when we realised that it was not a boardroom discussion again. It’s a matter of deliberate attempts to deprive students in this country of the requisite funding needed to run an educational sector. The necessary funds (which are) supposed to be released to the agencies have ceased,” he said.
The student body appealed to the committee to reject the 2023 proposed formula for the disbursement of GETFund.
“We stand at the crossroad where the fate of our young students lies in your hands. First, we reject the formula without any equivocation. We can only have a comfortable discussion about the future of education when the fund meant for education is guaranteed by this House.
“We call on you to reject the 2023 proposed formula and move steps to immediately uncap GETFund. Uncapping GETFund is a communal labour,” they added.
The Executive Director of education think tank, Africa Education Watch, Kofi Asare who was also present during the presentation of the petition, said the committee must take a decision by Monday, March 20, to save the education sector from collapse.
“Let’s respect the fact that education funds are meant for education, it’s as simple as that. We hope that by Monday the select committee will take a decision,” he said.
Additionally, the ranking member on the Constitutional and Legal Committee, Bernard Ahiafor backed the claim by the student body, stressing that the government failed to pay in full the monies allocated to GETFund.
“Several attempts made to ensure that the full amount of VAT paid by Ghanaians to be released to the GETFund for financing education in this country, is to no avail. In the 2023 budget for instance, if we look at page 190, it is stated clearly that the projected revenue for the 2.5% VAT meant for GETFund is GH₵4.65 billion.
“Now if you go to page 191 it is stated their expenditure items is only GH₵1.8 billion out of the GH₵4.65 billion that will be released to the fund and a cause for worry,” he bemoaned.
The MP for Akatsi South accused the government of attempting to collapse the fund.
He said even the small amount that is supposed to be released to GETFund by government is in arrears and that if the situation continues like this, then it is fair to conclude that “this current government intends to collapse the GETFund.”
However, he assured that the minority “will do everything possible to ensure that whatever is supposed to be released to GetFund is released, so that the fund does not collapse.”
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