06 July 2017

Taxing private universities a mistake; gov’t to review decision – Prof Yankah

Minister in charge of Tertiary Education Prof. Kwesi Yankah says government is working towards scrapping the 25 percent tax imposed on private universities in 2013.

He said the tax has been squeezing the little surpluses that the private universities incur on students which gives the impression that such universities are expensive.

Speaking with Raymond Acquah on Upfront on Joy News on Wednesday, he said “since private university education started some 18 years ago, nobody thought the not-for-profit universities were going to be taxed.

“In the interest of government that believes so much int he private sector, this cannot be rationalised. And I still believe that this was a mistake done by the previous government as it does not make any sense.”

He added that the Ministry of Education says it is taking steps improve science education for girls in the country, as the dust begins settling on this year’s National Science and Maths Quiz (NSMQ).

According to Prof Yankah, government is introducing scholarships and other incentives geared at pushing more girls to excel in science.

One major issue that is still topical is the poor performance of the girls’ schools at this year’s as well as previous competitions.

He said the 60:40 ratio in getting gender parity with regard to enrollment, has not been achieved and government is working towards correcting that.

“Government is putting in measures to ensure that we move in that direction to encourage more women to go into the sciences.

“Already several public universities are making a conscious effort to achieve some kind of parity in enrolment,” he said.

Mr Yankah said government is also considering giving more scholarships to students especially women in the sciences particularly, in certain areas to encourage them more.

He said although there will be free education at the senior high school (SHS) level, government will be strategic in giving funding in accordance with its priorities and objectives.

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