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General News Sun, 4 Nov 2001

CHASS threatens to close schools by Friday.

The Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS) has given the government up to Friday, November 9, to provide schools with all fees it had absorbed otherwise all schools would be closed on extended mid-term holidays.

A communique issued at the close of its 39th Annual Conference in Sunyani said the association noted that the late release of quarterly grants and scholarships impeded the smooth running of schools due to the lack of cash.

CHASS said the grants and scholarships should be released on time and asked for the upward review of the grants and scholarships to be paid directly to the schools.

The communique signed by Mr James Berko, National President, asked that members be given free hand in the management of student debts.

CHASS also wants to be represented on the District Finance Committees of the Ghana Education Service (GES) for disbursement of quarterly grants.

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The communique expressed members' dissatisfaction with the present situation where heads of schools were kept out of the award of contracts, which they had to supervise and write reports.

It recommended that to enable heads play these roles effectively, they should be members of tender boards that award contracts on schools projects.

The communique said conference was aware of the upsurge of indiscipline in the youth adding that members were bent on checking all acts of indiscipline in schools. The heads would therefore not tolerate any interference from other stakeholders in their efforts to achieve this laudable objective.

"We implore the law enforcement agencies to help identify the hideouts of all criminals and smoke out all who are ruining the innocent ones in our schools.

CHASS said in the face of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, they would continue to educate the youth on the misery and threat that this disease posed to the health of the future work force of Ghana.

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The communique said members will intensify and sensitise more vigorously environmental awareness among the youth and urged the government to enforce environmental laws particularly those on the protection of water bodies, prevention of bush-fires and building on wet lands.

It noted that the majority of schools lacked the basic infrastructure and amenities and requested for the provision of basic amenities in all schools to promote education.

The communique noted that since government alone could not fund education, the contributions of stakeholders including PTAs must be determined and regulated.

Source: GNA