Christian Addai-Poku (middle) with some executives at the press conference
The Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) has expressed grave concern about government’s failure to release funds for the running of educational facilities in the country.
According to the Association, the lack of funds has led to the abysmal performance of students at the basic and senior high levels.
Christian Addai-Poku, President of NAGRAT, who was addressing a press conference in Accra said, “Our education is falling, our district offices are virtually non-functional and neither the government nor the ordinary citizens can be proud of this. We are developing a time bomb with the way we treat education financing in the country and very soon it will explode.
He said, “In the past four years, we have seen government busily putting up a lot of school buildings at various places, procuring vehicles for some senior high schools, unfortunately the government has failed woefully in providing funds for the training of the facilities, both old and new.”
“Of what use are these facilities if you can provide them but cannot provide funds needed for administering them,” Mr Addai-Poku quizzed.
Payment of subventions
He said the funds that government allocates for various purposes in the educational institutions and directorates are ridiculous and somewhat irritating to say the least.
Mr Addai-Poku said from the Ghana Education Service (GES) headquarters through the regional and district directorates to the schools, the payment of government subventions for administration has been in arrears over many years.
“Our investigation reveals that District Directorates of Education have not received government subventions since 2012.
“We are at a loss as to what the Ministry of Education and for that matter the government is busily doing if it cannot pay subventions to district directorates of education for the past four years,” he said.
He said directors of education now literally go begging for stationery and fuel from the heads of senior high schools, adding that some regional and district offices have had their electricity and water disconnected.
He said schools have been compelled to operate without class registers, stationery and other teaching and learning materials which does not auger well.
Scoring political points
“Governments are quick to introduce various policies just to score political points but lack the will to carry them through.
“We have introduced school feeding programmes, one child, one laptop, capitation grants, school uniforms and sandals among others, all in a bid to score political points,” he said.
He said the non-payment of government subventions to the various directorates impacts negatively on educational activities.
Mr. Addai-Poku warned government to pay all outstanding subventions to education offices, all salary and allowance arrears owed teachers and conduct promotion interviews to promote teachers by end of October 2016 or incur their wrath.
By Cephas Larbi