Press statement: Government should release subventions to schools before free S.H.S programme kicks off

We, the Leadership of the Regional Students’ Representative Council in the Greater Accra (GARSRC), Ashanti (ARSRC) and Central Regions (CRSRC) of Ghana; respectively, serving as the official mouthpiece of all Second Cycle students in the country wish to call on the government to as a matter of urgency pay completely subventions to schools before the kick start of the Free S.H.S policy in September.

The delay in the release of subventions to Second Cycle Institutions across the nation has largely and adversely affected the management of schools especially boarding schools: food stuffs to prepare dining hall meals are mostly credited, papers for examination as well as are other materials are credited due to lack of funds. As at 2015/16 academic year, only 50% of the grant was paid to schools leaving school management stranded.

Last month a “purported” amount of GH₵106.697, 682.80 Cedis was “released” as feeding grants for 137,300 and 140,264 students for two out of the four outstanding terms, that is the third term of the2015/16 academic year and the first term of the 2016/17 academic year respectively of which we have not seen its head or tail yet; whether it has been paid into schools’ accounts or it’s just a written document yet to be processed. The question is, who or which schools are the beneficiaries? We would not mind receiving some clarifications on that.

The Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS) is a major stakeholder of the Regional SRCs and any matter that affects them automatically affects us the students.

Consequentially, this has affected the sports and culture activities at the Regional and Local level because their quotas have been captured in these subventions yet to be released. Likewise the activities of the SRCs; projects and programmes have been stalled.

We would like to remind the government that the 2016/17 academic year ends in a month’s time. In just about two months’ time the Free S.H.S programme will commence; meanwhile, 2015/16 monies have not been fully paid to schools. Managements are finding it very difficult to run the schools as a result. Apparently, we are not oblivious of what occurred in the Northern part of the country which affected our colleague students in the beginning of the term; the closure of schools.

As at now, continuing students are still at home. Heads of affected schools have vowed not to re-open schools until the monies are paid. Heads in other parts of the country are still holding on to the word of the Ministry of Education. Nevertheless, we the Leadership of the RSRCs on behalf of all Second Cycle students in the country are not sure we are ready for a nationwide occurrence for obviously it does not aid or promote academic work, and it affects the academic calendar but greatly us, the student body.

Moreover, B.E.C.E has ended and very soon admissions will begin. We believe and hoping that the Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo-Addo led administration will be able to perform and or deliver as promised in their campaign manifestos and educational policy as we move to the end of the 2016/17 academic year. Otherwise, it becomes a disappointment on the part of the many Ghanaians, especially parents and us students who yearned for this (Free S.H.S), thus forming part of the reasons for bringing the government into power.

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Mumuni Gbene Adams Samuel Odartey-Lamptey Abraham Essel

President, GARSRC President, ARSRC President, CRSRC

Prosper Nartey Raphael Sarkodie Eugene Nartey

P.R.O, GARSRC Coordinator, ARSRC Coordinator, CRSRC

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