The Ghana Education Service (GES), has blamed non-payment of government subsidies to public Senior High schools on the late submission of students’ data by headteachers, to enable the processing of the grants.
According to the GES, school heads are required to present students’ data on time to help fast-track the processing of the grants and subsidies.
The GES’s comments follow a threat by the Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS), to shut down second cycle schools for the 2016/2017 academic year, if government fails to fulfill its financial obligations.
Speaking at a press conference today [Thursday], the Director General of GES, Jacob Kor, stated that “the untimely release of subsidies and grants is partly due to the lackadaisical attitudes of some of the heads in terms of the submission of data.”
“I have the list of schools that have not submitted data for the data we are processing now. How do we process some and leave others. I will query all those heads who as at now have not submitted the data for the processing of the subsidy,” Mr. Kor said.
“If heads have not submitted information that was requested for long ago, and others did so as late as July 14, how do they expect the accounts section to perform magic and just send out the money all of a sudden,” he questioned.
Heads cannot shut down schools Mr. Kor also warned that, no head of an institution is mandated to shut down or open a second cycle school, except the Minister for Education.
“The authority to reopen and close down any public school is within the mandate of the Minister of Education,” the GES boss stated. Subsidies are inadequate – CHASS According to CHASS, the utility fees paid are unable to meet the huge electricity and water bills.
They also lamented that, the 3.30 per student per day for 3 meals, is woefully inadequate. “We want the electricity fee to be separated from the water fee and both should be appreciably increased to meet the bills from Electricity Company of Ghana and Ghana Water Company.
There is high expenditure on sanitation which includes dislodging of solid and liquid waste. Fumigation cost, as a result of bed bugs infestation in school is just too high.
The sanitation fees are part of the absorbed fees which have not been paid for 2nd and 3rd terms”. “The feeding fee of GHC 3.30 per student per day for 3 meals is woefully inadequate. There is a tax component of 17.5% vat and 3% withholding tax.
This has resulted in huge debts in schools. The feeding fee should be increased since price of goods and service have gone up drastically since 2014 when the fees were fixed e.g. the price of gari has shot up from GHC 2.40 to GHC 10.00 per American tin (olonka)”