General News of Tue, 21 Nov 201781
Senior High Schools may close down due to lack of funds - CHASS warns
The Conference of Assisted Senior High Schools, CHASS, is asking government as a matter of urgency to release subsidies which have been in arrears for three terms.
President, Cecilia Kwakye Cofie, says the schools are in dire financial distress and the availability of the funds is critical for the schools to remain open.
The implementation the free SHS policy has come with some challenges, one of which is an increase in enrollment, a situation stretching the infrastructure of the schools to a limit.
As of now, only 20 percent of funds allocated to cater for expenses of schools under the policy have been released, with 80 percent outstanding and no definite payment schedule.
Speaking over the weekend Mrs Cofie said besides this, other funds such as scholarship grants have not been paid for three terms.
According to her, the heads of schools are unable to voice out these challenges for fear of being tagged as being against the policy.
She continued that all efforts to engage the Ghana Education Service, GES, for the settlement of the arrears have proven futile.
Meanwhile, some heads of school are demanding a template for the implementation of the free SHS policy. They complain the various components for which funds are to be utilized on, have not been clearly spelt out.
" I have 80,000 cedis in my school account from the free SHS, but as at now, I don't know what to apply it on, whether it is to cover books, uniforms or any other thing, we need clear guidelines as to how the money should be applied.'' one headteacher lamented.
She stressed the success of the policy will depend on addressing out the various challenges identified as soon as possible