GETFund Boss joins Colleagues to Bid ‘Napo’ Farewell

The Administrator of GETFund, Dr. Richard Boadu, on Wednesday joined other education sector agency heads to bid an emotional farewell to the immediate past Minister for Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, at the Movenpic hotel in Accra. 

 

Agency Heads’ Tribute

The various heads took turns to pay glowing tribute to Dr. Prempeh, citing his hard work, commitment, team-building and capacity-building attributes. Among them were Hon. Dr. Prince Armah, former Executive Director of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA) and currently the MP for Kwesimintsim, Hon. Dr. Kingsley Nyarko, immediate past Executive Secretary of the National Accreditation Board (NAB) and currently MP for Kwadaso, and Hon. Mustapha Ussif, former Executive Director of the National Service Scheme and currently MP for Yagaba-Kubori. Others included Mr. Hayford Siaw, Executive Secretary of the Ghana Library Authority, Dr. Haggar Ampadu, Chief Inspector of the National Schools Inspectorate Authority, and Prof. Mohammed Salifu, Director-General of the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC), as well as some directors of the Ministry of Education. 

 

Dr. Prempeh’s Remarks

In his remarks, Dr. Prempeh looked back on some of the educational achievements during his tenure and observed that these could not have been possible without the support of the various agency heads responsible for these reforms and initiatives. He indicated his expectation that even though he was moving to a new ministry, the friendships he had formed at the Education Ministry with some of the heads would endure. Dr. Prempeh is now the Minister for Energy.

The heads presented a glass plaque to their former boss in appreciation of his support and guidance over the years

 

Tenure Achievements

Under Dr. Prempeh’s tenure as Minister and Dr. Boadu’s tenure as GETFund Administrator, the Fund has seen a new lease of life. 

For the year 2019, some of the major projects undertaken and which are at various stages of completion include:

  • Construction and completion of academic facilities at the tertiary institutions. 
  • Construction and rehabilitation of Dormitories, Classrooms, Dining Halls and other facilities at various Senior High Schools
  • Construction and rehabilitation of Basic school Classroom blocks
  • Construction of kindergarten facilities;
  • Provision of Whiteboard and Markers in some Senior High Schools; 
  • Supply of classroom furniture as well as beds and mattresses to various schools; 
  • Procurement of buses and pick-ups for schools and Agencies under the Ministry of Education,
  • Procurement of Teaching and Learning materials for schools.

 

Securitisation

In 2018, Cabinet and then Parliament, approved a proposal  by the Ministry of Education order to raise $1.5million through the securitization of GETFund’s receivables in order to fund education infrastructure. The purpose of this, among others, was to shore up infrastructure to be able to phase out the Double Track policy that introduced in 2018 to be able to manage the jump in the number of students seeking to access SHS education, following the government’s flagship education initiative, the Free SHS policy, which was rolled out in September 2017.

Owing to this development, GETFund was quickly able to authorise 1,472 new school infrastructure projects for construction between 2017 and the first quarter of 2020. A total of 282 of these projects have been completed and the rest are at various stages of completion. Nine (9) new model school projects (V-Blocks) were also awarded in 2019, and are at various stages of completion. Construction works on two (2) out of ten centres of Excellence for the Council for Technical, Vocational Education and Training (COTVET) are actively ongoing.

Further 28 community day senior high school projects inherited from the previous government have been completed and added on to the 29 out of 124 that had been completed by the time this government took over in January 2017.  Out of these, GETFund has been responsible for 14, with the World Bank completing the remainder.  This has opened up further opportunity for students in these communities to have access to education.

 

Bond Roadshow

in furtherance of the fundraising drive, this government, through the Ministry of Education and GETFund, has initiated the processes for a GHS5.5bn bond, which has been registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission and approved by the Ghana Stock Exchange. It will also be listed on the Ghana Fixed Income Market (GHAFIM). The first tranche of the raised funds is directly targeted at infrastructure in senior highs schools to eliminate the double track programme from our senior high schools. This feeds into a broader government agenda to ramp up education infrastructure at all levels of our education system. 

This phase of the funding drive is to access the capital markets system through investor participation. This will in turn give investors the opportunity to feel fulfilled that beyond the hard, financial figures and the returns that will inevitably come with their investment, they are playing an important role in the lives of many young children whose lives and future would otherwise be blighted by poor or non-existent educational infrastructure. 

 

Project Monitoring- Monitoring and Evaluation Units (MEUs)

 In 2017, the GETFund Board of trustees sanctioned an Infrastructure Audit Exercise. Subsequently, the Board of Trustees approved a budgetary allocation in the Secretariat’s 2019 budget for the establishment of Monitoring and Evaluation Units (MEUs) at strategic locations across the country. 

 

The maiden MEU, which is the Mid-Ghana GETFund Zonal office, was inaugurated in Kumasi at a colourful ceremony on 3rd August 2020. The office shall have oversight jurisdiction in the Ashanti, Bono, Bono East, Ahafo and Western North Regions. It shall also have additional oversight jurisdiction over the Northern, North East, Upper East and Upper West Regions in the interim. Other offices shall be established, the last to be in Tamale in the Northern Region.

 

Scholarships

One of the important reforms in the scholarship application process introduced by GETFund is its decentralization. Previously, everything was directed to the head office in Accra, which cause considerable difficulties, created inconveniences for applicants living in other parts of the country and led to several delays. 

Now, under simplified process, GETfund has partnered with the District Assemblies and a prospective applicant has to route his or her application through the relevant District Assembly for the application to be process. This decentralization is a considerable improvement and has led to better outcomes and customer satisfaction.

The total number of local and foreign scholarships granted by the GETFund in the 2016/17 academic year amounted to 546. The following year, the figure was 439. In the 2018/19 academic year, this rose to 1018 and in the 2019/20 academic year, the figure rose to 2126. It is expected that the figure will continue to rise in the coming years, giving hope and opportunities to many young people to continue their education and serve this country in various capacities.

 

Conclusion

Through innovative policies and sound, robust management practices under the direction of Dr. Prempeh, the Board of Trustees and Management led by Dr. Boadu, we are on course to deliver quality infrastructural and human resource support to the attainment of quality education and ultimately, our development aspirations. 

We wish Dr. Prempeh the very best in his new role as Minister for Energy and we are confident that he will deliver.