Minister Admits No Chalk In School
Mr. Kyeremeh made the admission when he was summoned to apprise the House as to whether the aforementioned items meant for teaching and learning at the basic level for the third and the fourth quarters of 2013 had been duly supplied.
He explained that there was a peculiar situation last year which affected the procurement and distribution of the teachers’ notebooks, chalk, attendance registers, continuous assessment cards, cumulative record cards and the release of capitation grant throughout the year.
He said because the budget for the year 2013 was prepared and submitted late (around March, 2013), acquisition of commencement certificate from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning for the procurement also delayed.
‘The late acquisition of this commencement certificate from the Ministry of Finance delayed the procurement process for chalk, teachers’ notebooks and attendance registers hence, the late deliveries,’ he underscored.
He said even though the items were delayed, they had been supplied.
Mr. Kyeremeh informed the Members of Parliament (MPs) that contents of cumulative records cards, continuous assessment cards and pupils’ report cards were not procured because those items were under review.
To a question posed by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP for Asene/Akroso/Manso, Yaw Owusu-Boateng, as to when the government would bear the full cost for the Basic Education Certification Examination (BECE), the Deputy Minister explained that the government was currently bearing 70 percent of the registration fees of all BECE candidates and that it was drawing up a programme to absorb all the 100 percent BECE registration fees. He added that as soon as funding was secured, the programme would be implemented.
According to Mr. Kyeremeh, the amount being borne by government had increased from GH¢768,000 in 2000 to GH¢14,398,703 in 2014 due to the significant increase in the number of registered BECE candidates resulting from social intervention programmes like the capitation grant, school feeding and free supply of exercise books and uniforms.
When he was asked about how much each pupil paid as registration fee in 2000 and how much each pupil is paying now, the Deputy Minister replied that he could not tell how much each pupil was paying in 2000, but said the registration fee was GH¢35 in 2013 and jumped to GH¢40 in 2014.
By Thomas Fosu Jnr
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