Government has not paid feeding grants arrears for the second and third terms of the 2015/2016 academic year for senior high schools in the region contrary to claims by the Director General of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Jacob Kor.
Some head teachers of the second cycle schools told Citi News off record that government has not paid any of the feeding grants arrears for the second and third terms of the 2015/2016 academic year.
They said even though they have been asked to re-open schools for the 2016/2017 academic year on September 5, it would be difficult to feed the students.
They added that, government also owes one term of arrears for day students benefiting from the progressively free senior high school education.
A letter seen by Citi News dated 8th August, 2016 outlined the inability of schools to feed boarding students if government does not settle the feeding grants arrears for second cycle schools in the three regions of the North.
Find the letter below:
NON- RELEASE OF BOARDING GRANTS
We the members of Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools in the three Northern regions wish to again draw the attention of the Honorable Minister for Education and the Director -General of the Ghana Education Service to the huge indebtedness of the boarding schools.
With the co-operation of the food suppliers we were able to feed the students for the three terms of the 2015/2016 academic year on credit up to 7th July,2016 when the first term of boarding grants was released by the scholarship secretariat. Though we were grateful for this release, it only enable us to settle a minimal portion of the debts.
As a result , heads are confronted with following challenges that need urgent attention.
It was extremely difficult to feed the students during the third term since this was the lean season and we owed the suppliers huge sums.
As at the time of writing this letter, the boarding grant for the second and third terms of the 2015/2016 academic year are still outstanding.
The schools indebtedness to the food suppliers is so huge that we are being threatened with court actions by the suppliers.
The suppliers are requesting for upward price reviews as a result of the very long delay in the release of the grants and which ultimately would affect our budgets.
In the light of the above development and constraints, it would be extremely difficult to open for the first term of the 2016/2017 academic year if the outstanding boarding grants are not released to the schools.
In this regard, we respectfully and humbly appeal to you to use your good offices to impress upon the Ministry of Finance to expedite action on the release of the grants to enable the boarding schools in the three Northern regions open the schools as scheduled by the Ghana Education Service.
The source also disclosed that, the Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools(CHASS) across the country will hold an urgent conference meeting in Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo region on Monday the 5th September,2016 to determine the fate of how to feed the students.