Headmasters Cry Out Over Heavy Debts


Prof Jane Naana Opoku-Agyeman – Minister Of Education

SEVERAL HEADMASTERS of second cycle institutions in the country are facing severe financial challenges, some of who have been threatened with court action by angry suppliers of food items, stationery and other key materials, to their schools.

Cecilia Kwakye-Coffie, President, Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS), who made this disclosure, said that government had not paid absorbed fees and feeding grants for the schools in the country for two terms – thereby leaving them heavily indebted.

‘The truth of the matter is that for more than two terms absorbed fees and feeding grants have been in arrears, thus plunging the schools into needless financial insolvency and disrupting the academic calendar.

‘Heads of schools do not have the peace to deliver on their core mandate since they constantly suffer harassment from goods and service providers. In fact, some suppliers have threatened court action,’ she openly lamented.

Mrs. Kwakye-Coffie made the observation during the 53rd meeting of CHASS which was held at Tamale, the Northern Regional capital. It was massively patronized by members of CHASS.

Government pays a feeding grant of GH¢3.30 per student for a day, for students in the three northern parts of the country, but the money has not been paid for two terms now.

Government is also supposed to pay GH¢29 as subsidy for students across the country, which is used to pay for utilities, sports programmes and other  events, but the amount has also not been paid for two terms.

Deaths
Mrs. Kwakye-Coffie recounted how some heads of schools had lost their lives, some maimed and others had had their properties and homes vandalized by angry students, due to lack of money to run the schools properly.

‘Our clients, including adolescent boys and girls, do not care whether payments have been made or not. At the least discomfort, they take to the streets and destroy lives and properties,’ the CHASS president, bemoaned.

She passionately appealed to the authorities concerned to take quick measures to remedy the situation so as to help save the poor headmasters from extreme hardship and pressure.

‘Our take is that, if the authorities are finding it difficult to pay the absorbed fees to the schools, then a decision should be taken to put these items back on the bill. This will reduce a lot of pressure on government,’ the CHASS president suggested.

FROM I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr., Kumasi


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