Government says after absorbing the registration fees for some 403,878 students in public Junior High Schools last year, it will again do same for 416,066 candidates this year.
“Mr. Speaker, Government in 2020 absorbed the examination registration fees for the 403,878 candidates from public Junior High Schools across the country. In 2021, the registration fee for 416,066 candidates from public Junior High Schools will also be absorbed,” Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has disclosed last Friday.
The Leader of Government Business in Parliament and Majority Leader made this disclosure when he presented the 2021 Budget Statement and Economic Policy in Parliament.
The Majority Leader told Parliament that in recognition of the important role of infrastructure in the quest to provide basic education for all children, a total number of 195 basic education projects were completed in 2020. He gave the assurance that the government would continue with ongoing infrastructure projects this year.
He added that in line with the commitment to ensuring adequate logistics for effective administration of schools and educational directorates, the government has procured and distributed 840 pickup trucks and 350 buses.
“In addition, 2,000 motorbikes were distributed to Circuit Supervisors to enhance monitoring in their line of duty,” he said.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu added that the implementation of the Free SHS programme had resulted in increased demand for secondary education, with the total number of beneficiaries for the 2019/2020 academic year standing at 1,200,580 students.
“Mr. Speaker, a total of 539 projects out of 1,119 senior high school infrastructural projects have been completed to accommodate the increased enrolment of Free SHS students. In addition, Government completed 28 Community Day Senior High Schools (E-Blocks) under the Secondary Education Improvement Programme (SEIP),” he said.
He further revealed that as part of efforts to make Colleges of Education freely accessible to all eligible students and train teachers to drive quality education provision, an amount of GH¢78,857,120 was disbursed to a total of 47,135 teacher-trainees in all public Colleges of Education for the second semester of the 2019/2020 academic year.
“In 2021, an amount of GH¢171,241,500 will be paid for the first and second semesters of the 2020/2021 academic year,” he assured.
National Rental Assistance Scheme
Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said the government would introduce new initiatives and additional reforms across several sectors of the economy in order to enhance further the quality of life of Ghanaians.
This, he said, is to support domestic entrepreneurs and businesses, and to deepen access to public services.
To this end, he said, Government is set to introduce a National Rental Assistance Scheme (NRAS) in the country.
The National Rental Assistance Scheme will provide low-interest loans to eligible Ghanaians to enable them pay rent advance.
“In partnership with the private sector, we will commence the establishment of a National Rental Assistance Scheme (NRAS), with a seed of GH¢100 million. The scheme will crowd-in additional investment from the private sector, to provide low-interest loans to eligible Ghanaians to enable them pay rent advance,” he said.
National Equipment Leasing Policy
He also said, in 2021, Government will formulate a national equipment leasing policy to cover medical equipment, vehicles, photocopiers, printers, and scanners among others as part of the measures to more efficiently manage our capital expenditure budget.
“We will also commence work towards the implementation of a long term Lease-To-Own financing arrangement for commercial vehicle owners and operators who need to replace aged and un-roadworthy commercial vehicles.
“We will also commence the planning towards the implementation of the Enhanced Student Loan Scheme to provide students, with the exception of teacher and nurse trainees, an option to obtain a student loan without the requirement of a guarantor,” he said.