Public Basic Schools in Ghana reopened on Tuesday, 13th September. This is the second week into the reopening of the third term for the 2021/2022 academic year.
However, the issues of textbooks and payment of the capitation grant remain unresolved:
1) Textbooks: Checks indicate that basic schools are yet to receive the long awaited textbooks. This is in spite of the fact that the Minister for Education promised and reiterated that the books will be available by the time schools resumed, when he appeared before the Parliamentary Select Committee on Government Assurances a few weeks ago.
Even before the Minister's appearance before the committee, he and his Deputy told the nation via various media interactions that the books were being moved to the regions from various printing houses for onward distribution to the schools. They assured that pupils will have textbooks when schools reopen. Well schools are in session, so why are the books not in the classrooms as promised?
2) Capitation Grant: The capitation grant is in arrears for six tranches, which constitutes six terms. Information from heads of basic schools confirm that not even a pesewa has been paid for the 2021/2022 academic year.
Before Parliament went on recess, I asked the Minister for Education to tell the nation how much was owed schools in respect of the grant, and when the arrears will be paid, on the floor of Parliament. He agreed that government owed schools the capitation grant. He added that Ghc 14 million had been made available to pay some of the arrears. The legitimate questions to ask are;
a) Where did the Ghc 14 million go, and,
b) How are schools expected to function effectively and efficiently without the grant?
The Minister for Education must address these matters with dispatch. Our basic schools need the textbooks and the capitation grant now.
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