Leaders of both caucuses in parliament have called for an increase in the 2024 budgetary allocation for special needs school.
The calls were intensified following the 2024 budget presentation by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta.
The presentation saw the least fund allotted for schools handling special needs students. Other categories of educational institutions however, were allotted comparatively very higher amounts.
Out of a total of 29.5 billion Cedis budgetary allocation to the Ministry of Education, just a little above GHC 500,000.00, was allotted for special needs schools.
Baffled by the amount, Leader of the Minority caucus, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson expressed dissatisfaction while the Majority caucus leader, Osei-Kyei Mensah Bonsu expressed shock.
Dr. Ato Forson described as unacceptable the amount allotted for special needs schools given the sum made to the Ministry of Education. He advised that the special needs school in the country should be taken seriously, expressing worry over the fact that the allocated amount was pegged below a million Ghana cedis.
“But one matter of significant importance to me, Mr Speaker is that even though the ministry has been allocated 29.5 billion Ghana cedis, only 673,429 – Mr Speaker under one million Ghana cedis has been allocated to special education.”
“Mr Speaker, special education is something that we should take quite seriously as a country because clearly there are number of special schools in the country but unfortunately, this budget is allocating less than 1 million Ghana cedis for special education,” he said.
“Mr Speaker, special education is something that we should take quite seriously as a country because clearly there are number of special schools in the country but unfortunately, this budget is allocating less than 1 million Ghana cedis for special education,” he added.
He therefore stressed the need for a reallocation to the sector.
Meanwhile, according to the Majority leader, he wants to believe there was a typographical error in the making of the presentation.
“It says that the allocation is just GH₵1 million, less than GH₵1 million. I want to believe that is a typo or error, I don’t want to believe. Mr Speaker, we have an allocation of some amount in excess of 100 million to non-formal education.”
Mr. Mensah-Bonsu notified with shock an excess of 100 million cedis for non-formal education while special need schools received a meagre amount.
He has suggested that an amount of GHC20 million be redirected from the allocation for non-formal education to special need schools.
“Mr Speaker, we need to spend more on the special schools, not the non-formal education. So I would want to plead that if we can do a reallocation from the non-formal education to the special schools, it should be good,” he said.