Solve funding crisis in education – Nana Akufo-Addo tells Gov’t
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) on Tuesday called on Government to take immediate steps to ensure the release of feeding fees to schools, and give basic schools their Capitation Grant.
He said government should pay the subsidies for Senior High School (SHS) institutions, which has put the fate of over 700,000 SHS students precariously in the balance as several activities have been suspended due to lack of funds.
“For example, some schools have had their electricity supply suspended as a result of this,” Nana Akufo-Addo said in a statement issued in Accra.
“There can be no greater issue at stake for our future than the education of our children. Leadership is about choices and we hope that President Mills and his government will make the right choices and invest in the development of our youth.”
He said “I have been compelled to issue this statement because the Mills-led NDC Government is putting the future of over six million school children at great risk. The grave crisis in our education system is being further worsened by the refusal of Government to release budgeted funds for the running of public schools at both the basic and secondary levels.”
“Information the NPP has gathered from the Ghana Education Service makes grim reading, at the basic school level, our information is that no single institution has received Capitation Grant for the second term of this academic year – 2011-2012.
“The Capitation Grant supports the education of 5.4 million of our children from Kindergartern to Junior High School.”
“Subsidies for all Senior High Schools have not been paid for the first two terms of the 2011-2012 academic year. This has put a huge strain on the finances of the 520 SHS institutions across the country. Worst hit are the day schools which have very little other resources to rely on to educate our children at that level.”
“Senior High Schools in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions, plus the northern parts of the Brong Ahafo and Volta Regions may have to shut down if their feeding fees allocations are not released immediately.
“Our information is that Government only released 35 per cent of their budgeted feeding fees for the first term. For this second term, which began in January and ends in the first week of April, not a pesewa of the Feeding Fee has been released to any of the schools in the five regions mentioned.”
“The situation has led to food suppliers for boarding schools in the affected areas refusing to supply on credit because of months of piled up arrears to the suppliers.
“At a time when Ghanaians are deeply concerned about the worsening standards of the country’s education system, we, in the NPP, are extremely worried about the adverse effects of this inexplicable withholding of funds on the preparation of the students for examinations this year.
This development is bound to affect academic work of students, worsening the already falling standards of education, at no fault of teachers and students.”