Gov’t unlikely to meet deadline for promised 50 SHS as school re-opens

President Mahama’s promise to construct 50 community Senior High Schools by August 2015 may not be fulfilled as schools across the country re-open, Joy News checks reveal.

Joy News checks in the Eastern, Western and Greater Accra regions reveal only a few of the promised community day SHS buildings have been completed.

Characterized by fanfare President Mahama cut the sod for the start of work on the promised 50 community day secondary schools. The president made an electoral promise to build 200 new community day schools by 2016.

“This first batch of senior high schools be will be completed and commissioned by August 2015…[it] will be ready for admissions of the 2015/2016 academic year which will be based on the free SHS concept,” Mahama pledged while addressing the people of Nyanoa in the Eastern region in March last year during the ceremony.

Eastern region
But Joy News’ Total Recall Desk has found that in the Eastern region, where the President cut the sod for start of work last year, only one of three projects has been completed.

Three areas Nyanoa in Upper West Akim, Oborpah in Lower Manya and Fodoa Nkawkaw in Kwahu West were identified for the project.

Joy News correspondent Kofi Siaw who visited the project site reports that the Nyanoa community day school is about 90% complete.

The first and second floors have been fully furnished with chairs and desks. The ceiling and doors are in place.

“We are really experiencing the better Ghana agenda the president is promising us,” a resident said.

Central Region
In the Central region, only one of the eight projects has been completed. The completed school at Ekumfi Otuam is a four-storey building with nine air-conditioners installed.

“Ekumfi is leading the Central region,” MP for the area, Abeiku Crentsil, was proud to proclaim.

Project site

Status

Remarks

GomoaGyam in Gomoa East District

Reached 4th floor

Agona Nemanwora in Agona East

3rd floor

Project delayed due to a 7-month dispute between MP and chiefs.

Ntranoa in KEEA

Yet to finish 1st floor

Contractor says they needed to build an entire access road to the school before work could begin

Diaso in Upper Denkyira West third floor

At third floor

AgonaAbodom in Agona West

Working on the 4th floor

Kyekyewere in Upper Denkyira East

Working on third floor

AwutuBawjiase in Awutu Senya East

Reaching 2nd floor last two months

Western region
Schools are to be built at Ahanta West, Bamiakor in Nzema East, Adabokrom Krankwanta in Bia East, Manso Amenfi in Wasas Amenfi Central.

Radio Maxx’s Francis Wajah reports that the project at Bamiakor in the Nzema East has been completed. It has 24 classrooms, 8 offices, four ICT Labs and 4 science labs.

The Greater Accra region
The construction of some of these schools has been hampered by litigation. Schools are to be sited at Ashiaman Municipality, Frafraha in Adenta Municipality, Katamanso at Kpone Katamanso and Tabora Israel in Ga Central.

At Adenta, land the size of two football fields lies bare as the deadline elapses. Ag Chief of the area, Sowah Mensah says a court has placed an injunction on any work on the land.

“When somebody is holding something and you want to take it from them then they must rise up…we go according to what the law says,” he told Joy News’ Kwetey Nartey.

“Nobody has contacted the family for even a piece of land to build a school. We are telling them they should pass the right channel”, he said.

In Ashiaman, the four storey building is at the lintel level. “All things being equal they will be able to meet the duration of the construction,” the MCE Ibrahim Baidoo told Joy News.

In other areas, the projects are yet to really take off.

The 50 Day SHS buildings also forms part of President Mahama’s much-touted promise to build 200 community day senior high schools.

Government says it is a constitutional requirement for the state to provide free education up to the secondary school level.

Also, many of the existing schools are unable to take up many of the students who leave Junior High School.

Only 40% of JHS graduates gain admission into Senior High School, because of limited facilities.

The construction of SHS is part of government’s commitment to fulfill its electoral promise of making secondary education progressively free.

Government says about 313,301 senior high school day students are to benefit from the free SHS policy this academic year.

All day students are exempt from the payment of school fees starting from September this 2015/16 academic year, since they are covered by the progressively free scholarship policy.

Story by Ghana|myjoyonline.com|EA


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