Executive Director of the Africa Education Watch Kofi Asare has chided District Directors of the Ghana Education Service (GES) for being silent and cowardly as the government fails to release funds to them to run basic public schools in the country.
Mr. Asare lamented that even as these District Directors are faced with financial challenges, they have remained timid concerning demanding funds for the administration of their schools but have rather looked on as parents are billed to pay for aspects of their children’s education which should be paid for by the government.
He cited the example of an examination fee that is being paid by parents when government is supposed to do so.
He noted that, unlike heads of senior high schools who consistently demand funds to run their schools, district directors have been laid-back and silent over the lack of funds to run basic schools.
Read his full statement below:
As usual, I have a list of District Education Directorates that collected up to GHC15 from pupils to conduct end-of-term exams in public basic schools. I know this is no news-actually a norm! Everyone from the Ministry of Education GH to Ghana Education Service is aware but silent because they have no alternative.
The District Directors, as usual, claim government has not sent any money for exam. I am aware only 12% of the Capitation & Base Grant required for this year was even budgeted by Ken, so I appreciate how basic education will suffer this year too.
While I am not against parental contribution to basic education, I will continue to reiterate that it is the responsibility of the GES under the MOE to fund examinations through the Capitation Grant.
Denying basic school funds and watching teachers tax parents to fund terminal examinations is against the free, compulsory, universal basic education policy and constitutional provision per Article 38(2).
Instead of always pouncing on poor parents to demand cash to fund basic education in the midst of low commitment by government, District Directors should rather muster courage and tell government that they cannot run basic schools with PR.
District Directors of Education must be bold and learn from CHASS to get results. Under the free SHS, immediately CHASS ‘shouts’, a ‘state of emergency’ is declared at the MoE for fear of closure of SHS. Quickly, money is found from nowhere and thrown at them.
This cowardice of District Directors who are responsible for managing basic education will continue to make government even more docile towards financing basic education.
There is too much timidity of leadership at the basic school level to attract any positive response from government.
Nothing will come out of nothing!