The Government has secured GH¢45 million from the GETFund as the first tranche of a multi-million cedi package for the construction of accommodation facilities for students in the 495 Senior High Schools (SHSs) due for admission in the 2010/2011 academic year.
The GH¢225 million package programme is expected to prepare the schools in readiness for the academic year, as well as allay fears of parents and heads of the SHSs.
A Deputy Minister of Information, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, told the Daily Graphic in Accra that the programme would be in two phases, explaining that the first phase of 150 schools would begin in April while the second phase would begin in May and be completed by September this year.
Mr Okudzeto Ablakwa allayed the fears of the public and gave the assurance that “the government has risen to the challenges to ensure that there is no disruption in the academic calendar”.
He said the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning had given the assurance that it would source the rest of the fund from bilateral partners and government institutions.
According to Mr Okudzeto Ablakwa, the first phase of the package would cover selected schools which had classroom blocks that could take care of the students but without dormitories.
He also announced that the massive construction would take into account a lot of locally manufactured inputs from local contractors.
The Deputy Minister said the Ministry of Education had put in place a team that would assess the situation on school-by-school basis and report to headquarters for action.
Some school heads have over the past couple of weeks threatened not to admit students for the SHS form one, since they do not have the infrastructure to accommodate fresh students, owing to the four-year SHS programme.
Meanwhile, the government has denied media reports that the Director-General of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Mr Samuel Bannerman-Mensah, has been fired.
Mr Okudzeto Ablakwa told the Daily Graphic that the contract signed by the GES boss would expire in January 2011.
He said the GES boss had some accumulated leave and also leave prior to his retirement, stressing that, “The GES boss has not been fired as being speculated.”
Source: Daily Graphic