The Impact of Capitation Grant, SPIP, and GETFund on Education

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The introduction of the Capitation Grant, School Performance Improvement Plan (SPIP), and Ghana Education Trust Fund (GET-Fund) has had a great impact on the effective and efficient running of Ghanaian basic schools. The implementation of these initiatives has positively affected the overall performance of schools, especially on parents who were facing financial difficulties in sending their children to school.

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THE CAPITATION GRANT SCHEME

What is capitation grant?

Capitation is a fixed amount allocated per pupil in basic schools. The Ministry of Education introduced the Capitation Grant Scheme at the beginning of the 2005/2006 academic year for all public basic schools. The scheme aims to eliminate one of the primary barriers preventing the poorest parents from sending their children to school: the payment of levies imposed by many districts to raise funds for school operations. These levies, intended for school repairs and cultural and sporting activities, create financial barriers to accessing basic education, despite the supposed free nature of basic education under the FCUBE program.

Under the Capitation Grant Scheme, every public basic school receives a certain amount calculated based on the school’s enrollment. It is important to note that, during the pilot stage in 2004/2005, boys were allocated GHC 2.50, while girls received GHC 3.50. The funds are paid from the National Consolidated Fund, typically in three tranches within the year.

The utilization of the capitation grant is designed to empower schools to effectively use the funds for quality improvement activities, outlined in the School Performance Improvement Plan (SPIP). These activities include:

  • Enrollment drives.
  • Provision of teaching and learning materials.
  • Payment of sports and cultural levies.
  • School management (including T&T, sanitation, and stationery).
  • School and cluster-based in-service training.
  • Minor repairs.
  • Support for needy pupils.
  • Enhancing community and school relationships.

The School Performance Improvement Plan (SPIP)

What is school performance improvement plan?

The School Performance Improvement Plan (SPIP) is a strategic document prepared by the headteacher and the staff of a school to outline quality improvement activities for the academic year. The SPIP aims to ensure the effective utilization of funds, particularly those from the Capitation Grant Scheme, to enhance the overall performance and infrastructure of the school. It covers the entire academic year but is broken down into terms. It must be approved by the school management committee and reviewed by the District Director of Education to ensure alignment with the Education Strategic Plan and other educational priorities.

Management of the Capitation Grant

  • A special bank account for the capitation grant is opened at the district level, with the District Director of Education and the District Accountant as signatories.
  • The District Director opens separate bank accounts for each school, where the district deposits the schools’ share of the grant. The headteacher and assistant headteacher are the signatories.
  • At the school level, the chairman of the SMC endorses requests for funds and is jointly responsible with the headteacher for the appropriate use of funds to achieve SPIP activities.
  • A Capitation Grant Cash Book is maintained by the school for accountability and auditing.
  • Monthly and quarterly reports are sent to the District Education Office by the headteacher and the SMC chairman. The District Director of Education also reports quarterly to the Regional Director of Education and the Director-General on the capitation grant’s operations.

Key players in the management of the Capitation Grant include:

  • The District Director provides oversight.
  • The District Accountant maintains proper books of accounts.
  • A Circuit Supervisor handles day-to-day supervision of SPIP implementation.
  • The SMC, headteacher, and assistant headteacher ensure effective utilization of the capitation grant for SPIPs.

GHANA EDUCATION TRUST FUND (GETFund)

The Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) was revitalized in 2000 to supplement the government’s efforts to provide quality education for all. It is sourced from a 24% component of the 17.5% VAT charges, alongside donations and grants from development partners. The fund focuses on:

  • Infrastructural development, including the provision of lecture halls, classroom blocks, science blocks, hostels, dormitories, staff bungalows, administrative blocks, and stadia for government basic, secondary, and tertiary institutions.
  • Provision of teaching and learning materials, such as computers, library books, and science equipment.
  • Provision of vehicles, including buses, pick-ups, and water delivery tankers.
  • Offering scholarships for the study of selected courses abroad.
  • Funding the Students’ Loan Trust.

Other beneficiaries of the fund include the National Accreditation Board, Ghana Library Board, Scholarship Secretariat, Best Teacher Award Scheme, private universities (which receive library books, computers, and other learning and teaching materials), and the President’s Special Initiative on Distance Education. The fund is managed by a Board of Trustees and an Administrator.

However, the GETFund faces challenges, such as lacking authority to award contracts for project execution, which hinders control over contractors and project timelines. Misapplication of the fund by the government can also occur. To maximize returns from the GETFund, the Ministry of Education and fund beneficiaries must ensure prudent project selection, contract awards, and effective supervision to avoid shoddy work.

It is noteworthy that the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) operated during the 1960s and early 70s. The first Republic established the Trust by an act of Parliament to cater to secondary cycle institutions nationwide. Examples of GETFund schools include Accra Girls Senior High, Tweneboa Kodua Senior High, and Yaa Asantewaa Girls, among others.

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