Education sector loses GH¢5.7bn in 5yrs



  • The amount could eliminate 5,400 schools under trees

The education sector has been deprived of some GH¢5.7billion revenue key for the provision of infrastructure and the elimination of numerous schools under trees between the period 2018 and 2023 – an amount enough to eliminate over 5,400 schools under trees.

This is because capping the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) – the statutory funding source for the provision of education infrastructure – in 2018 has led to the sector losing over GH¢5.7bn; which would have been key to the provision of desks for basic schools, textbooks for new curriculums, and classroom blocks for deprived community schools.

The 2017 earmarked funds capping and realignment act (Act 947), which placed a 25 percent cap on the GETFund, reduced inflows to the sector; and the current review of the earmarked act that seeks to increase this cap to 70 percent will further worsen the infrastructure situation in most schools across the country.

If not addressed urgently, millions of school-going children could face the risk of not having access to education infrastructure.

Statistics show that about 5,000 schools still operate under trees and in dilapidated structures across the country, while over 4,000 primary schools have no junior high schools (JHS); a situation that has led to an increase of pupils terminating their education after primary six. Stakeholders believe this lost revenue would have solved at least half of all these challenges.

Against this backdrop, civil society organisations (CSOs) working in the education sector have described the decision as a major setback to achieving complementary basic education financing.

According to a 2021 project by the Ghana Education Service (GES) and VALCO Trust Fund (VTF), it will require about GH¢3.5billion to construct all 5,403 schools over five years. However, only two percent of the funding is presently available.

Meanwhile more than that amount – GH¢5.7billion – was diverted to other sectors from the education fund within the same period. There is therefore a need to uncap the GETFund and explore alternative means of acquiring reliable funding the education infrastructure needs.

Executive Director of Africa Education Watch (Eduwatch) Kofi Asare, a leading voice against capping the GETFund, is of the view that government should completely remove the cap on receivables since the restriction has denied the statutory funding vehicle for educational projects and programmes enough resources to complete existing projects and embark on new ones at the basic level.

“Since 2018, an average 40 percent of GETFund Levy accruals is diverted annually by the Minister of Finance to other sectors. By 2022, GH¢3.7billion was lost to other sectors.

“A strict application of the amended Act 974 could see up to 80 percent of GETFund Levy accruals diverted for budgetary support in other sectors. The implication is that GETFund cannot create the fiscal space to adequately fund infrastructure interventions for enrolling and retaining children in formal basic schools, as 2,000 schools are needed to absorb one million out-of-school children (OOSC) and over 5,000 basic schools under trees and sheds,” he stressed.

So far, in 2023 about GH¢2.8billion of GETFund accruals have been diverted to other sectors by kind courtesy of the capping policy. In the previous year, though GH¢2.6billion was allocated to the fund from the total accruals, only GH¢1.8 billion representing 56 percent of the total accrual was allocated – contrary to the 25 percent stipulated in the act.

GETFund accruals and allocation after capping to date are as follows:

2019 GH¢1.8billion GH¢1.2billion 66%
2020 GH¢2.0bn GH¢1.2bn 60%
2021 GH¢2.3bn GH¢1.4bn 60%
2022 GH¢3.2bn GH¢2.6bn

Reviewed to





2023 GH¢4.6bn GH¢1.8bn 39%
Total GH¢13.9bn  GH¢8.2bn Loss = GH¢5.7


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