We’ll pay Upper East SHSs feeding grants soon – GES

Second Cycle Institutions in the Upper East Region that are yet to receive their feeding grants from the government will do so soon, the Ghana Education Service (GES) has said.

The Public Relations Officer of the GES, Reverend Jonathan Bettey, said processes have been initiated to ensure that the payments are made to the school to avert any interference with the academic work.

Citi News gathered that, head teachers of second cycle institutions in the region had instructed students not to return to the school on the scheduled date; Thursday 4th May 2017, because they [the schools] were yet to receive grants from the government to cater for the students’ feeding.

They said the government owed the second cycle schools in the region for three academic terms; the third term of 2015/2016 and the first and second terms of 2016/2017 academic years respectively.

The Upper East Regional Director of Education, Mrs. Jane  Sabina Obeng, who also confirmed government’s indebtedness said her outfit was hopeful that the grant will be released soon to enable the schools to reopen as scheduled.

But according to Rev. Bettey, the Ghana Education Service was now hearing about the problem, but is working with the Ministry of Finance and the Scholarship Secretariat to resolve it.

He said the Ghana Education Service is “reliably informed that it will not be long, these monies will be released to enable these schools to resume.”

In an interview on Eyewitness News, Rev. Bettey said, the sector minister, Matthew Opoku Prempeh, had been informed about the situation.

“We are aware that schools will resume today, [Thursday], and provision is being made; but the fact is that when schools resume, it is not the first day that the monies are released because it is a process so it goes to the process, hits the bank and then they can cash the money for their various use… The money will be paid as soon as possible.”

While rejecting claims that the Education Service had failed to initiate the payment process early enough to avert any confusion on the school’s academic calendar, he said the process had delayed for reasons that include the change in government.

He assured that the problem with the payment of feeding grants to second cycle institutions which have for several years plagued education in the country will become a thing of the past when the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government’s flagship Free SHS policy begins.

By: Jonas Nyabor/citifmonline.com/Ghana