Scholarships for PWDs in Universities; Education policy expert advises Gov’t against overburdening GETFUND, Scholarships Secretariat

Sika Togoh
Sika Togoh
4 Min Read

Senior Research Fellow and Education Policy Analyst at Africa Eduwatch , Divine Kpe has cautioned government against overburdening educational investment vehicles like the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFUND) and Scholarships Secretariat with new policy initiatives in the coming months ahead of the December 7 polls.

His concerns come on the back of the Vice President , Dr Mahammudu Bawumia indicating that should he win the Elections in December , his administration would look to provide full scholarships to Persons With Disability (PWDs) studying in public universities across the country.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with UniversNews, Mr Divine Kpe intimated given the precarious nature of the economy especially under the current IMF programme , it will take enormous willpower and measures to be able to further burden the resources of the country to be able to add up the cost of the policy to the challenges being faced by educational investment vehicles like the GETFUND and Scholarships Secretariat.

” Anything to encourage access to education in Ghana needs to be embraced especially if it comes to marginalized groups of society like PWDs is noteworthy but our elected officials must think outside the box to get resources to fund such policy initiatives instead of overburdening special purpose vehicles like GETFUND and the Scholarships Secretariat , which in turn will add up to the debt stock of the country given the dire financial position of the country at the moment.

It is not feasible to do full scholarships for this group of Ghanaians at the moment ,such actions will come to us at a higher cost which will squeeze out the capacity of the government to get enough resources to re invest in such a critical sector like the education space ,as fiscal restrictions will throw government budget out of gear if we continue borrowing to fund education in general”.

Also, Mr Kpe further indicated that the various political aspirants of the leading political parties contesting for the elections in December 2024 , must put all hands on deck together with civil society and all stakeholders in the educational sector to be able to identify the teething challenges and b able to channel resources to deal adequately with such bottlenecks .

He added that a cursory study of the population of Persons with Disability currently in the various tertiary institutions in the country and the cost of providing such support as being intimated by the Vice President will cost close to 1 billion Ghana Cedis , which will be a massive drain on national coffers due to the constraints of the IMF programme.

” Going forward into the Elections in December, this is the appropriate time for the Vice President and other leading figures of other political parties must seek to engage policy experts and Civil Society organizations in the education space to deliberate in the future of sustainable funding of education across all levels in Ghana.

With a cursory look at the statistics of PWDs as a component of tertiary enrolment in the country stands at around 10% of total students and that churn out a number close to 64,000 students and at conservative estimates , the government if it wants to persist with this policy initiative , it would cost close to Gh1bn on an annual basis using Humanities as a case study which might put a huge dent into the financial position of government given the current circumstances of the economy”.


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