Dr. Clement Abas Apaak, Deputy Ranking Member of the Education Committee of Parliament who represents Builsa South, expressed deep concern over the seven-term arrears of capitation grants.
The failure of the government to disburse capitation grants over the past seven terms has placed the daily operations of our schools in jeopardy. Textbooks have not reached our schools since the implementation of the new curriculum in 2019, leaving a glaring deficiency in the educational materials required for effective teaching.
He Further stated that, the government has not provided adequate allowances to caterers involved in the school feeding program, hindering their ability to provide nutritious meal
Headmasters across the affected schools are struggling to effectively manage their institutions, exacerbating the crisis.
He also made mention that ideally the government is expected to provide GHC 10 per student, but shockingly, a headmaster received only GHC 500 for a student population of 400.
The capitation grant is crucial for ensuring the provision of free public basic education in Ghana. It is intended to cover expenses that would otherwise burden parents, resulting in high fees for private schools. By remitting these grants, the government assumes responsibility for public schools, encompassing costs such as maintenance, attendance books, essential supplies like chalk, and extracurricular activities such as sports and cultural events.
The failure to disburse capitation grants for the past seven terms, equivalent to two and a half years, severely undermines the day-to-day management of schools. Since the implementation of the new curriculum in 2019, textbooks have not been distributed, leaving primary schools ill-equipped to fulfill their educational mandates. Regrettably, no school in Ghana can claim to possess the complete set of textbooks.
Dr. Clement Abas further criticized the government’s inadequate support for caterers participating in the school feeding program. The refusal to provide a reasonable allowance per child hinders caterers’ ability to provide nutritious meals, raising questions about the government’s commitment to the well-being of Ghanaian students.
The recent incident where over 400 students from Manle Dada Basic and African Unity schools in the La Dadekotopon Municipality were left stranded after a rainstorm destroyed their classrooms further illustrates the gravity of the situation.
Although the African Unity School’s nine-unit classroom block and offices were destroyed in May, there has been no progress in their restoration. Similarly, a rainstorm on September 22 damaged three classrooms in the nine-unit block at Manle Dada Basic School.