Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague knows very well that what he is talking about has to do with access to medicine, where the medicine that is given, especially, the anti-retroviral drugs, there is no discrimination on whether you can afford it or not. But with this, we are talking about education and I am saying that because the criterion that has been set, first, is to ensure equity --
If you look at the Report that has been presented, it keeps talking about the issue of equity and to be equitable, you should not just say that because someone has AIDS automatically, the person qualifies for scholarship. That is just what I wanted to draw attention to, to say that it should also be that the person cannot afford. So that is also taken on board in line with the general view that it is about equity.
Mr Speaker, back to the issue about research, monitoring and evaluation. I was just looking at the detailed report that I believe the Committee had. Mr Speaker, if you look at what the intention for the research is, and with your permission, on that said document page 8 -- it says;
“Component tool -- Management, Research, Monitoring and Evaluation”.
It talks about the monitoring system to be established and functioning to annually track data and publish
information on all Senior High Schools in Ghana. It is not talking about the 23 new schools that are going to be built, it is also talking about all secondary schools. He has also talked about research and sector analysis to be conducted to inform elaborations of secondary education strategy.
Mr Speaker, all of us know, for nothing, management systems that would require computers, internet connectivity are things that are very expensive. This House, I remember very well, in 2007, came here with a loan facility to enable the National Health Insurance Authority to have an information system that would enable them track whatever activities that are going on across the country. Mr Speaker, if I remember very well, the amount then was US$15 million.
Mr Speaker, I would want us to be looking at this as the quantum of what is going to be done, not only under the heading “Research, Monitoring and Evaluation”. I believe the likes of most of our Hon Colleagues, the former Hon Minister for Eduction, Prof. Fobih, would attest to the fact that, when we talk about research -- [Interruption] -- we are referring to activities that are very expensive. When we want to do it and do it well, it is not just collating the collection of data but also analysing the data.
All of us who have had the privilege of doing one research or the other know that, these things are things that cost money, and it is not for only one year, it is for a number of years. So, I think that if like the Hon Ranking Member for the Finance Committee mentioned, if the details were not provided, I would entreat that we encourage the Finance Committee that, when such documents are given, they
extract the details of the descriptions, so that it does not create the impression as if it is just a line item, “monetary and evaluation”, but that it goes into much detail than just what is stated in the Committee's Report.
Mr Speaker, I would want to say that all of us, as we go across our consti- tuencies, especially, those of us who have secondary schools within our consti- tuencies, would attest to the fact that most of the infrastructure are challenged, and this is a better time to improve on most of them, I think this is a golden opportunity.
I would also want to emphasise the comment made by the Committee itself, that the Committee on Education should try as much as possible to keep tracking and monitoring the activities as itemised, so that they would ensure that what we want to do with the said amount of money is achieved and at the end of day, we are not short changed.
Mr Speaker, with this comment, I would want to urge all my Colleagues to support this Report to approve this said amount to enable the Ministry of Education to carry out this laudable project.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.