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Procedures, guidelines on use of Capitation Grant not followed in Upper West Region – Study

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Research findings in the nine districts of the Upper East Region has revealed that there is lack of compliance on the procedures and guidelines in the use of the Capitation Grant.

The phenomenon is compounded by the inability of head teachers to understand and do some basic accounting in the management of the Grant.

The report, which covered 2007 and 2009 and made public on Tuesday revealed that even though there were School Management Committees (SMCs) in place, there was general lack of knowledge on guidelines of Capitation Grant and low management skills stemming from low capacity.

It revealed that, of the 96.3 per cent of schools sampled, 27.5 per cent were ineffective as they held no meetings.

It noted that of the 72.5per cent who said they held meetings, 27.1 per cent had met only once to discuss matters concerning the schools, 26 per cent SMCs met twice in one year and on information sharing 58.9 per cent of SMC chairmen had no information on the amount of Capitation Grant disbursed to their schools.

These revelations came out at a regional interface meeting on the Capitation Grant, organized by SEND Ghana, in collaboration with the Regional Coordinating Council and the Regional Participatory and Evaluation Office, and attended by heads of basic schools, SMCs and Civil Society representatives.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss findings of the survey report conducted by SEND Ghana and its grassroots partners in the nine districts on the utilization of the Capitation Grant.

Mr Eugene Yirbuor, Senior Project Officer of SEND Ghana, presenting the findings, said although the grant is expected to cover costs and levies for examination, registration, facility management, games and sports in the schools, which hitherto were paid for by parents, children were still tasked by schools  to pay high examination fees.

He added that some parents also shirked their responsibilities towards the education of their children resting all their hopes on the Grant the government had provided the schools.

The investigations found that some schools were charging extra fees for common examinations undertaken each term by pupils in the Region and parents were charged fees ranging from GH¢7.00 to GH¢9.00.

Stakeholders identified that the unapproved examination body, which was outside the Region, produced questions mostly not from syllabus and outside the approved marking scheme.

Mr Johnson Atoyine, Convener of the Education Sub-committee and a retired educationist, blamed this on poor supervision from the educational sector and said quality in education should not be compromised for the interest of a few entrepreneurs who want to make profits.

He called for the review of the inactive District and Regional Oversight committees and District Education Planning Teams (DEPT) to support Circuit Supervisors in their supervisory work  for “all shoulders should be put to the wheel”.

He said the committee needed to be empowered with resources and motivated to assist in the work to improve the falling standard of education in the region.

Source: GNA

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