Parliamentarians ‘Weep’ Over Unpaid School Fees

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has expressed concern about the huge amount of unpaid school fees by students in some senior high schools (SHS).

It expressed the sentiment on day two of its public sitting in Kumasi, when it came out that eight Brong-Ahafo schools are owing a total of GH¢50,550.00 in fees for the 2011 academic year alone.

Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, Chairman of the Committee, described the situation as quite disturbing.

He said it was a major challenge, the heads of the schools, must find innovative ways to tackle.

Running through the Auditor-General report on the schools, are queries of students indebtedness, disregard for the procurement law, overdue advances to staff and unearned salaries on the part of some teachers.

Added to this, is the delay in responding to audit queries.

The heads of the erring schools, accepted responsibility and pledged to do everything to avoid a repetition of the mistakes. Already overdue advances and unearned monies paid to many of the teachers have been fully settled.

In all, 29 schools, including one college of education in Brong-Ahafo, appeared before the Committee.

The first batch of schools in the Ashanti Region to appear before the Committee, include, Effiduase SHS, Bodwesango SHS, Ejura, Mampong Technical College of Education, Tepa, Mabang, Owerriman, Mankranso, Osei Tutu, Nkawie Senior High/Technical, Kumasi SDA, Bonwire Senior High/Technical, Ejisu Senior High/Technical, Saint Louis SHS and Tweneboa Kodua SHS.

Mr Kofi Sarfo Kantanka, Ashanti Regional Education Director, complained about delays in the payment of salaries of newly posted teachers, and said the schools most often have no option but to look for money for the affected teachers to survive.

New teachers must, therefore, be put on the payroll in good time to save the schools from advancing monies to them.

His Brong-Ahafo counterpart, Dr George Adjei-Henne, advised the heads to ensure early response to audit queries.

The PAC is considering the Auditor-General’s Report of pre-university educational institutions for the year December 31, 2010 and 2011.