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Category: Education Created on Wednesday, 23 May 2012 20:18 Published Date Written by GNA Hits: 414
Accra, May 23, GNA – The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) on Wednesday concluded that funding of tertiary education in the country should be the responsibility of the state and the sndividual.
A research document by Mr Joy Say, IEA Research Assistant, made available to the Ghana News Agency in Accra said there should be cost sharing in tertiary education as a potent alternative to purely government funding.
It said cost sharing was prudent but this method alone cannot solve the funding problem of tertiary education.
“Whiles the cost is shared, other methods such as alternative income generation through alumni fund raising, endowment funds, split fee and grant methods and the scheme for the award of scholarships and bursaries could be looked at,” the IEA research said.
The research said cost sharing from its inception had not gone down well with individuals paying for tertiary education, cost sharing and its justification, identifies some challenges to cost sharing and suggests possible means by which the educational system can moderate these challenges.
The IEA research identified as the first challenge to cost sharing in Ghana as with reference to Article 15 of the 1992 Constitution, which states that ‘higher education shall be made equally accessible to all on the basis of capacity by every appropriate means, and in particular, by the progressive introduction of free education’.
According to IEA duty of providing finance for tertiary education is far beyond only government, stressing that unless a massive restructuring of the economy is done, which should place heavy taxes on other commodities and use the tax revenues to fund education.
The other challenge facing cost sharing is the debate about the benefactor of tertiary education.
It is generally believed that the state benefits hence the state must fund tertiary education and the state on the other hand realizes that there exists a lot of private benefits in tertiary education so individuals should pay.
It must be stressed here that both parties benefit immensely from tertiary education and must therefore pay their due.
IEA unveiled that education has several stakeholders and these include government, students and their parents and private sector and; group is expected to provide part of the funds for tertiary education.
In justifying cost sharing, one can clearly testify that the growth in the demand of tertiary education has far outpaced the infrastructure to supply this good.
Therefore over reliance on government alone will not only prevent access but also affect quality negatively. It is thus imperative to think that an additional funding source is required and hence the idea of cost sharing.
In as much as education is deemed to benefit the state, individuals are consistently realizing positive private benefits of education. Given this realization, the individual must invest in education and thus it is prudent for the individual to pay part of the funds needed for his or her education.
Financial management practices of school authorities have improved considerable given that there are more parties sharing the cost of providing tertiary education.
IEA research also acknowledged that other groups who opposes cost sharing, considering it as unfair to the current generation given that earlier generations had free tertiary education.
“Those who hold this opinion must realize that globalization warrants that people pay for what benefits them and so both the state and the individual must pay for tertiary education.
“Also, knowing the ordinary Ghanaian to be poor, the question then is how does he or she pay fees if charged? On this ground, many argue that cost sharing only deprives the poor of access to tertiary education.
One of the methods commonly employed to help the poor is “Means-Based-Support”. The Means-Based-System of allocating grants becomes very crucial since this takes away the problem of having brilliant but needy students out of the classroom.
A critical analysis is made of the individual’s ability to pay the fees or otherwise and government augments the individual’s efforts.
Another method is the creation of educational banks and other commercial banks with flexible loan schemes designed for needy individuals to obtain educational loans to fund their education.
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