The Upper East Regional branch of the Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS) has appealed to the government to settle boarding grant arrears for second-cycle institutions in the region.
It said the arrears were the biggest among the challenges hampering academic work in the various boarding schools.
The Upper East Regional Chairperson of CHASS, Mrs Francisca Yizura, made the appeal at a meeting with the outgoing Regional Minister, Mr Rockson Bukari, in Bolgatanga last Friday.
At the meeting, which was to discuss preparations for the next academic year, Mrs Yazura said the grant was in arrears for two terms.
Mrs Yazura also called for the construction and completion of structures in some schools which had either been abandoned or completed but not yet handed over, a situation which had led to overcrowding in both classrooms and dormitories.
She also drew attention to poor staffing, especially concerning non-teaching staff, in many of the schools, as retired caterers and pantry staff were not replaced.
In addition, schools that were recently converted to boarding status had to rely on volunteers in the communities to cook for the students, she said.
She gave an assurance that the Upper East Regional branch of CHASS was ready to support the successful implementation of the free senior high school (SHS) programme.
Support free SHS
For his part, Mr Bukari challenged heads of second-cycle institutions to ensure the successful implementation of the free SHS policy, saying the programme had come to stay.
“The good news is that the free SHS policy has come to stay to give education to all Ghanaian children, irrespective of the economic state of their parents. The government is doing everything on its part and we also have to do our part,” he stated.
“As a government, we believe that with strong engagement of all stakeholders, we are bound to and shall overcome the challenges ahead of us. That is why I’ve asked for this meeting for us to interact and prepare for the next academic year. This is our region and we cannot afford to let it down,” he stated.
The Upper East Regional Director of the Ghana Education Service, Mrs Patricia Ayiko, commended the Regional Coordinating Council for engaging stakeholders to ensure the successful implementation of the free SHS programme.