Second cycle schools in the Upper East Region may not reopen as scheduled on April 18, due to the usual non-payment of feeding grants and boarding fees for three terms.
Feeding grants and boarding fees are a subvention by government for students of Senior High Schools in the three regions of northern Ghana, but the grants are in arrears for the third term of the 2014-2015 academic year, and the first and second terms of the 2015-2016 academic year.
Speaking to Citi News, the Upper East Regional Director of Education, Madam Janet Kawia, said the indebtedness of the second cycle schools to their suppliers is so huge that their suppliers are not willing to supply them, hence the uncertainties as to when they will reopen.
“Whether or not the senior high schools will reopen on Monday 18th of April, am not sure about that because, they have complained that they have no money to feed them because they have not had their feeding and boarding grants.”
According to the school heads, third term grants of 2014-2015 have not be paid yet, 2015-2016 first and second terms grants have also not been paid, and so it is difficult for them to feed the students and how to even get the suppliers to supply them.
“I met with executives of the Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS), but their excuse is that, they are not even sure themselves when schools will re-open but what they did was to ask the students to listen news for update.
If it is feasible for them to open the schools, they will announce. Otherwise students would have to wait till feeding grants are released before they report to their respective schools” Kawia stated.
Madam Kawia reiterated that, delays in the release of feeding grants to the schools would have an adverse effect on academic work in the schools and appealed to government to expedite action for the release of the grants. “When the schools are able to re-open on schedule, they will be able to cover the syllabus.
As and when the money will come, that is when they will re-open and we don’t know when the money is coming, so students will lose a whole lot of instructional hours and as for affecting academic work, it will happen” Kawia added.