The Deputy Ranking Member on the Education Committee of Parliament, Dr Clement Apaak, is asking government to rescind the decision to wean-off public tertiary institutions from its payroll as announced by the Finance Minister.

Dr Apaak said this is because its implementation is counter-productive to the free SHS programme meant to increase access to education in the country.

He explained that since government intends to no longer shoulder the cost of paying lecturers and staff at the tertiary institutions, the establishments would have to raise their own revenue to pay for the human resources required to function as institutions of higher learning.

“When public tertiary institutions become fee-paying, then obviously, government is directly introducing a financial barrier to the already existing infrastructural barrier.

In any case, why would government increase access by making secondary education free, and propose to restrict access by essentially making the cost of obtaining tertiary education by beneficiaries of free secondary education exorbitant?” he asked.

He, therefore, stated that “it is our position that the proposal to wean public tertiary institutions off public payroll be dropped completely, because it will invariably restrict access to tertiary education and will prevent the poor and marginalised from accessing tertiary education when implemented.”

The contradiction made by government, the Builsa South MP said, shows a lack of understanding and lack of appreciation for the free SHS policy intervention.

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, last week disclosed that public tertiary institutions in the country will be weaned-off government’s payroll as part of government’s medium-term measures to address the challenges confronting the economy.

A block grant is an annual sum of money allocated by central government to a state agency to help fund a specific project or programme.

According to Dr Apaak, the Minority is aghast by government’s decision as President Akufo-Addo while speaking at the Global Education Summit held in London last year, said his government is likely to extend free education to the tertiary level.

“For now, what has been put in place is a system where students at the tertiary level are provided loans while in school to help them cater for their needs, but we’re considering free tertiary education too,” President Akufo-Addo said.