Parliament has approved a financing agreement between the government and the International Development Association (IDA), for the release of $40 million as additional finance for the Ghana Secondary School Education Improvement Project (SEIP).
The additional finance is to develop infrastructure in 100 senior high schools (SHS) in anticipation of an increased demand following the implementation of the government's Free SHS Policy.
The SEIP was designed in 2014 to increase access to SHS education in under-served districts and to improve quality in low-performing schools.
Last Thursday’s approval of the agreement followed the presentation of the report of the Finance Committee of Parliament, which recommended its approval.
Terms of the loan
The $40 million has five years grace period, 20 years (exclusive of grace period) re-payment period, 25 years maturity period and maximum commitment charge of 0.5 per cent per annum.
It has a service charge of 0.75 per cent per annum and an interest rate of 1.25 per cent per annum.
Presenting the report of the Finance Committee, its Chairman, Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah, said the project would focus on expanding SHS infrastructure through the construction of 23 new SHSs in under-served districts.
It would also support the rehabilitation and expansion of existing facilities of low-performing SHSs and provide scholarship to students from low-income families, especially girls.
Dr Assibey-Yeboah said the second aspect of the project would focus on improving the quality of education in selected low-performing SHSs.
That would be done through the strengthening of school management and accountability, improvement of mathematics and science teaching and learning and the expansion of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Internet connectivity in schools.
"Under the additional financing, 75 SHSs would have their facilities upgraded to improve academic performance. Also, there would be quality improvement support to 107 additional schools," he said.
Dr Assibey-Yeboah said the project was expected to help in the achievement of better grades in the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) and consequently increase the transition rates from SHS to the tertiary level.
Besides, he said, the project would increase enrolment in beneficiary SHSs by students from low-income families, especially girls.