Free SHS policy is poorly targeted


The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has criticised Ghana’s free Senior High School policy saying, although it has increased enrolment, it is poorly targeted.

“Ghana spends close to 4 percent of GDP on education with good results in terms of enrolment
but poor learning outcomes. The flagship programme Free Senior High School (SHS), which covers the full cost of secondary education, has helped increase enrolment but is poorly targeted,” IMF said in a country report released ahead of the approval of the country’s $3 billion bailout.

The report added that key identified areas of “potential improvement of education spending include strengthening primary education resources, better teacher training, and stronger performance-based
funding practices.”

Former President John Dramani Mahama has on several occasions stated that the next NDC government under his leadership will review the free SHS policy.

The government has spent over GH¢10 billion on free SHS since its introduction in 2017.

On Health, the IMF said Ghana’s National Health Insurance policy which was expected to be universal covers only half of the population.

The report said while Ghana performs relatively well in terms of health outcomes, disparities in access remain a key issue.

“The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is meant to be universal but only covers half of the population. Identified reform priorities include increasing the NHIS coverage, securing its long-term funding, and expanding its basic care package.”


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