No Textbooks, Capitation Grants Two Weeks After Schools Re-Opened
Basic schools across the country are yet to receive textbooks and capitation grants for teaching and learning, two weeks after schools have re-opened, The Anchorhas learnt.
Dr. Clement Apaak, adeputy ranking member on Education Committee of Parliament, who dropped the hint in a write-up,saidthis has been the case since Tuesday, September 13,this year,when the 2021/2022 academic year commenced.
According to him, this is happening, in spite of earlier assurance by Dr. Yaw Osei Twum, the Minister of Education, that critical education materials would be made available before schools reopened this month.
The education minister, he explained, had assured the Parliamentary Select Committee on Governance Assurance, when he met with the group some weeks ago that the books would be delivered on time.
In his latest write-up, copied to The Anchor, yesterday,Dr. Apaak, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Builsa South constituency,in the Upper East Region, said that even before the assurance, he, the minister, together with his deputy,indicated, on various media platforms, that the textbooks were on their way to the regions for distribution.
“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?” he asked.
In the case of the Capitation Grant, the MP disclosed that the money has been in arrears for the last six tranches amounting to six terms.
Heads of schools who have refused to speak up for fear of victimization and persecution say no amount has been paid to them for the academic year.
This appears inconsistent with the minister’s promise earlier before Parliament went on recess.
According to Dr.Apaak, he personally asked the minister to give information as to how much government owed these schools.
The MP’s question, which was specifically focused on the grant, also wanted the minister to indicate when the arrears were going to be paid for the smooth running of the schools.
In his answer, Dr.Twum, aside from agreeing to the fact that government owed the schools, also claimed that some GHc14million had been made available for payment.
He noted, “The legitimate questions to ask are; a) where did the GH₵ 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,” he said.
But weeks after such assurance, it is becoming apparent that, this money has not reached the schools as envisaged, Dr. Apaak observed.
Below Is Published Unedited,The Full Statement:
WHY ARE PUBLIC BASIC SCHOOLS IN SESSION WITHOUT TEXTBOOKS AND CAPITATION GRANT
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.
Dr. Clement Apaak
M.P, Builsa South and Deputy Ranking Member On Education Committee of Parliament