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General News Tue, 11 Mar 2008

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NUGS appeals to Northern Chapter of CHASS

Accra, March 11, GNA - The National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) on Tuesday called on the Northern Chapter of Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS) not to close down second cycle institutions but find options to enable final year students undertake their pending examination.

A statement issued in Accra and signed by Mr Abdul Karim Makib, International Relations Secretary of NUGS regretted that the Northern Chapter of CHASS decided to close down senior high schools in the northern part of the country as a result of lack of grants and asked all responsible agencies to act immediately to prevent the looming catastrophe.

"We further call on government to introduce a Legislative Instrument that spells out how the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFUND) should be disbursed".

According to a Ghana News Agency (GNA) story on Friday March 7, the headmasters in a statement issued in Tamale said it had become necessary to close down the schools due to the inability of government to release grants to feed the students.

They claimed that since the beginning of the academic year, only 40 per cent of the first term feeding grant for SHS two and SHS three had been received. The schools did not receive anything for the SHS one students.

Consequently, CHASS on December 22, 2007 and January 29, 2008 wrote to the Minister of Education, Science and Sports, the Regional Ministers of the three regions and Director General of Ghana Education Service explaining the plight of the schools.

The headmasters said they managed the situation by lifting food items from suppliers on credit with the hope that the grant would be released for them to settle the debts owed from the first and second terms.

The GES however, told the GNA it was not directly responsible for payment of feeding grants to senior high schools in the three northern regions when it was contacted.

Mr Paul Kofi Krampa, Deputy Director of Public Relations of GES, said because students in the three regions were on government bursary the onus for such payments rested with the scholarship secretariat. "All that the GES can do is to play a facilitating role to ensure that the funds are released on time to avoid break in the academic calendar," he said. 11 March 08

Source: GNA

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