General News of 2014-07-04

Parents, not gov't should provide sanitary pads - GNAT

Ghana National of Association Teachers (GNAT) has said government is overburdening itself with the free distribution of sanitary pads
He says the priority for the Education sector is to get adequate classrooms, chalk and books.
Mr. Awotwe said personal effects for school girls like sanitary pads should be provided by parents.
Parliament approved a $156 million World Bank facility to support construction of Senior High Schools in the country and out of the money, an amount of $15 million will go into scholarships for over 10,000 students to pursue senior high education.
Part of that amount would also be used to buy sanitary pads and distribute it free of charge to school girls.
But the public is raising issues with contracting loans for the move. While some have okayed the deal, others think it is not sustainable. Others including the Education ministry have accused the media of concentrating on the sanitary pads component and focusing on the sanitary pads.
Weighing in on the issue, the GNAT General Secretary called for greater scrutiny of the loan agreement.
"We need to know what percentage is dedicated to the purchase of sanitary pads," he said.
Nonetheless, in his view, a sanitary pad is "not a priority". He said teachers are suffering in the rural areas and some " are using their pocket money to procure chalks.
"98% should be used for school infrastructure and teaching materials," he said.
In the meantime, Minister for Gender and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur, is calling on Ghanaians to support government's free sanitary pad programme because it adds to ensure the education rights of girls are upheld.
Speaking on Joy FM's Super Morning Show, she said adolescent girls in certain remote parts of the country resort to using leaves and used cement papers during the time of the month.
She said Kenya and Uganda were practicing the policy. She explained 60% of the $156m component of the loan is dedicated to girl-child education.
In a passionate plea, the minister wants Ghanaians to embrace the policy if Ghana is to move away from lip service to girl-child education.
Source: myjoyonline
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