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Release capitation grant arrears for basic schools – Education Coalition urges government

The Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition (GNECC) has urged the government to release all outstanding arrears of the capitation grant for basic schools across the country.

The fund was designed to finance the purchase of teaching and learning materials and in some cases pay for small repairs, administration and examination expenses.

Although the grant per child was revised from GH¢4.5 to GH¢10, government still has an outstanding amount of GH¢315 million to clear.

In an interaction with JoyNews, the Coordinator of the GNECC, Bernice Mpere-Gyekye, stated that the disbursement of the funds has delayed.

She added that some further deductions are made from the meager amount each pupil is entitled to, something she noted is beginning to affect the quality of education.

Release capitation grant arrears for basic schools – Education Coalition urges government
Coordinator of the Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition, Bernice Mpere-Gyekye

“For the GH¢10, there are some deductions at the regional and district levels, so what ends up coming to the schools is GH¢7.50 for each child and that one is supposed to be divided within three terms. It means that every term, a child is getting GH¢2.50.

“But it got to a time that when they release the first term tranche, the rest of the term doesn’t come. So, it again sent parents to the old situation where they have to provide everything for their children. The Policy is not really working as it’s supposed to be,” she said.

“We are recommending that the Ministry of Education and other stakeholders should ensure the sustenance and efficiency and effective implementation of the Capitation Grant. The government should release the money on termly basis so that the teachers and the heads of the schools can really use the money for the intended purpose.”

At the Kokomlemle Basic 1 and 2 Schools in Accra, there are visible signs that the authorities are having difficulties carrying out simple repairs.

According to the National Programmes Manager of GNECC, Festus Amartey, due to the unavailability of the funds, basic schools like Kokomlemle Basic are having difficulties.

Release capitation grant arrears for basic schools – Education Coalition urges government
Festus Amartey, National Programmes Manager of the GNECC

“Education is supposed to be made free for every child, and apart from that, it is supposed to be of quality. The Capitation Grant has come in to relieve parents of the burden of paying school fees.

“Frankly speaking, access, now, is okay but then the quality is an issue. The schools cannot be run without resources and the Capitation Grant is meant to support the managers of the schools to be able to provide the kind of education we expect them to provide for our children,” he said.

Article 25 of the 1992 Constitution states expressly that the State must make provisions for a free education at the basic level under the Free and Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE) programme.

Under this programme, every child of school-going age in the country should have access to basic education without any financial, parental, material or any form of hindrance.

In furtherance of this constitutional provision, the Capitation Grant was introduced in the 2003/2004 academic year.

Release capitation grant arrears for basic schools – Education Coalition urges government
Although the grant per child was revised from ¢4.5 to ¢10, government still has an outstanding amount of some ¢315 million to clear.

The fund was designed to finance the purchase of teaching and learning materials so as to improve the quality of learning. It could also be used to fund small repairs, administration and examination expenses.

During the 2017/2018 academic year, the grant was revised from GH¢4.50 to ¢10 for each child per year.

However, the disbursement of the funds has not been regular and this is crippling academic success at the basic level.

Source: Ghana News

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