An Economist at the University of Cape Coast, Dr. William Godfred Cantah has said that the wholesale educational subsidies for tertiary education students promised by some political parties could be problematic in the long-term.
Going into the December 7, 2020 elections, the two leading political parties have promised wholesale subsidies for all tertiary education students, but Dr. Cantah thinks such a policy threatens to worsen unemployment in the country.
Speaking in an interview with Accra-based MX24, he explained that not all tertiary education programs have the potential to lead to job creation, so it would be prudent for such a policy to the targeted at specific fields that have the high propensity to create jobs.
He therefore suggested that the focus of the country’s educational assistance should be directed to what he describes as job creating fields such as the applied sciences as well as technical and vocational education among others.
He contended that offering assistance to persons reading humanities-related programs will not inure to the benefit of the country in terms solving the unemployment problem because, ordinarily, such programs do not lead to job creation.
Dr. Cantah explained that people with humanities background only manage jobs created by people with applied sciences, technical and vocational training.
“The basic challenge has to do with the direction with which they are taking the country in terms of the kind of subsidies they provide. I have the strong belief that if the country is to solve the problem of unemployment and increase its productivity then we should think about focusing subsidies at the tertiary level to creating skilled human resource to produce for the economy,” Dr. Cantah noted.
He added that “we should focus on enhancing the production of individual with more technical knowledge and technical skills. Instead of providing a wholesale subsidy for people reading business, social sciences and other related humanities courses, the subsidy should be geared towards paying the fees of people who are interested in doing Applied Sciences, Technical and Vocational related programs at the tertiary level. These are the people who will graduate and start producing something within the economy.”