New uniforms not a big deal, won’t affect govternment's budget – Casely-Hayford
A social commentator, Sydney Casely-Hayford has downplayed criticisms over government’s priorities for the educational sector following the introduction of a new uniform for junior high school students.
The development which comes into effect in September 2019 has been met with cynism from some Ghanaians with some even fearing procurement infractions.
But speaking on The Big Issue, Mr. Casely-Hayford maintained that “as for the change of uniform, it is no big deal” because to him, it has no bearing on government spending.
He remarked that “on a big picture basis, a change of uniform like we are doing now frankly has very little impact on government’s pockets.”
“It is not a matter of considering it a priority. It has no impact on government budget except for… some places that government does find it necessary for social support to provide uniforms to some of the children who are in deprived communities.”
Mr. Casely-Hayford also reminded that “anybody who has children or wards in junior high school level knows that you are responsible for paying for the uniforms.”
“It can only be a non-priority when it is competing with other monies but where it is not competing with other monies, there is nothing… it doesn’t mean the government is going to stop doing roads or government is going to stop developing the school buildings because we are buying new uniforms.”
The Education Ministry has had to come out to refute reports on social media alleging that Education Minister, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh awarded a $350 million contract for the supply of the uniform for public junior high school students to a relative.
According to the Ministry of Education, such claims are aimed at creating a public disaffection for the Education Minister.
The reports claimed that one Ebenezer Opoku Prempeh, a supposed relative of the Education Minister, is the beneficiary of the said contracts.
But the Ministry of Education in a statement explained that the Minister has no relative bearing that name.