No Money For 200 Community SHS

The Barmiankor school project
The completion of one of the 200 government day senior high schools at Barmiankor in the Nzema East Municipality of the Western Region, might delay due to lack of funds.

The aim of the government’s 200 SHS project is to increase access to secondary education in underprivileged districts as well as improve quality in low performing senior high schools.

In fulfilment of government’s 2012 election campaign promise, a sod was recently cut for the commencement of work on one of the 50, out of the 200 new community senior high schools, at Barmiankor.

Parliament has, therefore, approved a Financing Agreement between the Government of Ghana and the International Development Association for a sum of $156 million to finance the Ghana Secondary School Education Improvement Project.

The Barmiankor project is supposed to be completed in 18 months.

However, the site engineer supervising the Barmiankor project, Osei Manu Bernard, has alleged that even though the project was about 15 per cent complete, the government had still not given money to the contractor.

He, however, indicated that the contractor had pre-financed the project, adding that if it got to a point that the contractor could not continue to finance it, he would have no option than to abandon the project.

‘All things being equal, the project can even be completed before the stipulated 18 months. But as we speak, no money from the government has been given to the contractor’, he stressed.

This came to light when members of the Government Assurances Committee of Parliament visited Barmiankor to assess the progress of work at the project site.

The commencement of work on the community day senior high schools is aimed at decongesting existing senior high schools and to create adequate opportunities for more students from the country’s junior high schools to access secondary education.

The site engineer revealed that apart from the super structures all the sub structures of the project had been completed.

He was very hopeful that if funds were available, the four-storey, 24 classroom day secondary school project, could be completed before time.

Members of the committee were impressed about the quality of work done and pledged to ensure that the contractor had what he needed to ensure the completion of the project on time.

Freda Prempeh, a member of the committee and MP for Tano North, could not fathom why contractors complained of lack of funds when Parliament had approved funds for the project.

Emmanuel Kwasi Bedzrah, chairman of the  committee,  noted that education was the key to the eradication of poverty, and that government was committed to establishing the 200 senior high schools to make education accessible to all.  

From Emmanuel Opoku, Barmiankor

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