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Ghana government free SHS funding proposal questionable.

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Government has been advised to establish a strong financial sustainability plan that would enable it to progress with the implementation of the Free Senior High School (SHS) and the other social intervention programmes.

The advice forms part of SEND-Ghana’s recommendations, after a research conducted on the equity in resource allocations to education, health and social protection, and a scrutiny of the 2018 Annual Budget to these sectors.

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Mrs Harriet Nuamah-Agyemang, the Programme Officer of SEND-Ghana, explained that government’s proposal in the 2018 Budget Statement, to set up a voluntary fund to finance the Free SHS Programme, lacked clarity, in terms of how much was being targeted, how that target was going to be met, and how the initiative answered the question of sustainability.

Mrs Nuamah-Agyemang stated at a round-table organized by the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG) in Accra, which attracted participants from the academia, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), policymakers, implementers and the media.The meeting was to explore the nexus between budget allocation and inequality, focusing on Education, Health and Social Protection.

Mrs Nuamah-Agyemang said government needed to answer questions on prioritisation and equity in these three areas, stating that, the gaps at the basic level of education must be adequately addressed in order to build a stronger foundation for Ghanaian children.

She said, “in this respect, enough funds should be allocated for basic education. In addition, parents who can easily afford to pay for SHS for their wards must be allowed to do so to save funds to support poor parents to take their wards through basic education”.

The government, she said, must also ensure that funds allocated were timely disbursed in their entirety to strengthen the management systems of schools, so that the directorates of the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service (GES) could implement all pro-poor policy interventions such as the Capitation grant, Free SHS and examination subsidies among others.

The presentation by SEND-Ghana further proposed that government increase allocation to capital expenditure (CAPEX) in the 2018 Supplementary budget by earmarking a significant proportion of revenues from the extractive non-renewable sector and other sources such as the Talk Tax, and ensure the judicious expansion of the GETFund of over GHC928 million.

Mrs Nuamah-Agyemang said the expansion of the GETFund allocation was necessary to address the infrastructural deficit at the Basic and Senior High School levels, especially as has been exposed by the implementation of the Free SHS.

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Motherland News

Nigerian President Buhari Warns Ballot box snatchers to value their lives

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President Muhammadu Buhari has warned those planning to snatch ballot boxes during the elections to desist or pay with his or her life if caught.



President Buhari who stated this at the opening session of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Caucus meeting in Abuja, on Monday, said that such act would be the last unlawful act the person will be brought to book.

Meanwhile, the governors of Imo, Rochas Okorocha and Ogun, Ibikunle Amosun were conspicuously absent at the meeting.

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Buhari who said he is confident that he has garnered enough supporters having gone round the country to campaign, urged party members to reassure their constituents to come out and vote on the rescheduled dates.

While urging party agents to watch out for the party interests at the polling units the president said that he has directed security agencies to identify hot spots and be ready to move should they suspect any attempts to cause problems by thugs across the country irrespective of party affiliations.

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Health & Lifestyle

DR Congo blame Unending Ebola Outbreak on Violence , Community Mistrust.

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DR Congo Ministry of Health spokesperson Jessica Ilunga has declared that violence and community mistrust have continued to hamper all efforts to control and end the fresh Ebola outbreak, which started Aug. 1.



Though according to the World Health Organization the number of new Ebola cases has dropped slightly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as there are 33% fewer cases to date in February compared with the same time period in December per STAT’s Helen Branswell, but some experts warn Axios that there remain signs that this outbreak is far from over.

Meanwhile, some experts warn that, that doesn’t mean the world’s second-largest Ebola outbreak on record is yet under control, and in fact it could simply be moving to new areas of the sprawling country.

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Johns Hopkins’ public health expert Jennifer Nuzzo maintains there are several reasons people should continue to view this outbreak as a cause for concern.

However, Nuzzo said Congo needs more than money from the international community and the U.S. in particular. Safety concerns have largely caused the CDC to limit its Ebola experts to the capital city of Kinshasa, where some have returned after being evacuated during an uptick in election-related violence, Nuzzo added that Now is the time for the U.S. to send them into the field.

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