The government says it has drawn down US$500 million of the expected US$1.5 billion securitised proceeds of the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) in 2018.
The amount translates into GHC2.7 billion using the exchange rate applicable at the time of registering the bond.
Parliament, amidst opposition from the Minority in 2018, approved the facility to expand infrastructure across schools in the country especially at the Senior High School (SHS) level to provide adequate facilities to phase out the double track system.
“The amount was raised through a mix of syndicated loans and the bond programme,” Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, said in an answer to a question asked of him by the Member for Adaklu, Kwame Agbodza, on the floor of Parliament in Accra yesterday.
Mr Agbodza wanted to know how much of the expected US$1.5 billion had been drawn down and which contractors were paid from same.
According to Dr Adutwum, MP, Bosomtwe, the money had been spent on three item lines.
They include arrears of projects awarded up to December 2016 amounting to GHC630,249,373, certificates arising from projects awarded up to December 2016, GHC186,522,724 SHS and Basic School projects awarded between 2017 and 2020, GHC1,062,657,546.
Other items the money was used on, Dr Adutwum added include motor vehicles supplied in 2020, Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) equipment, teaching and learning materials, laptops, furniture supplied between 2018 and 2020 and consultancy.
He said to ensure the money was judiciously used, a Special Purpose Vehicle was created to manage the proceeds, adding that all arrears inherited from the John Mahama-led administration -GHC630 million – had been settled.
On when textbooks based on the new Standard Based Curriculum for Basic Schools would be supplied to schools across the country, Dr Adutwum said the processes were underway and would be completed soon.
“Mr Speaker, the procurement process is ongoing and at final quality assurance stage which will lead to award of contract. Once the procurement processes are over, suppliers will deliver the textbooks to the Regional and District Educational Offices for onward distribution to schools,” he said.
Speaking with the media after his engagement with the MPs, Dr Adutwum admitted that the government should have printed the text books before rolling out the curriculum stating that outsourcing the printing to the private sector was intended to promote that sector of the economy.
“Logically, it is right to print the text books first but the procurement processes are cumbersome and takes time but I’m learning from this as the minister of education,” he said.
The teachers, meanwhile, he said were using the abbreviated form of text books with content for teachers to guide them in teaching.
“They have been given materials but I know the textbook is more comprehensive and we know they need textbooks,” he said.
SOURCE: Nii Otu Dadeban Ankrah