The Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS), is lamenting again over government’s failure to clear Feeding Grant arrears for two academic sessions.
This, according to CHASS, could lead to postponement of the reopening of second cycle institutions in the three regions of the north scheduled for May 16, 2018.
Chairman of the Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools, Saibu Adams Wilberforce, brought this to the fore at a media encounter.
As Headmaster of Tamale Senior High School (Tamasco), he said food suppliers have threatened to withdraw their services pending full payment of the accumulated debt.
“The suppliers are reluctant to provide them with food items due to the debts owed them. Last term this school received 15 gallons of palm oil and 10 bags of maize from buffer stock which is woefully inadequate to feed both boarders and day students.”
“Government has not provided feeding grants for two terms to schools in the Northern Region. There has not been any grant to feed boarding students since the inception of the free SHS policy. Government, under the free SHS policy, paid 20 percent of the total cost to schools.”
The CHASS Chairman nevertheless praised government for implementing the free Senior High School policy saying, “We praise government for implementing the policy and making the part-payment, but I urge government to immediately release the rest of the money to enable schools implement the free SHS policy effectively.”
“The 20 percent is woefully inadequate for the administration of the schools especially the provision of food to the students.”
He added that, ” The unpaid grants has made it difficult for schools in the Northern Region to be administered smoothly.”
“We don’t want to let government down. We don’t also expect government to let us down.”
A similar situation in 2017 compelled CHASS to postpone reopening of the affected schools.
Successive government’ failure to defray accumulated Feeding Grant arrears has always affected the calendar of second cycle institutions involved.