The Committee for Students Advocacy (COSA) has called on Government to publish the names of schools under trees, which benefited from school structures as well as free school uniforms and books.
A statement signed by James McKeown, Lead Advocate, and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra said: “Basic education was one of the essential services nations across the world cannot do without because it is key to the development of human resources needed for general national development.
‘For this reason, every country works hard to get its educational system right and running.”
The Statement said: “COSA is apprehensive about the way the government is playing politics with issues regarding basic education. The committee is of the opinion that the attempt at removing schools under tress has been “overblown” by the government.
It said: “In the 2011 State of the Nations Address, President Evans Atta Mills mention that over 1,000 new basic schools had been built throughout the country since the introduction of the scheme, and a projection of the construction of additional 1,500 schools this year has begun in earnest.”
The statement said, the 2012 address stated that contracts for the construction of over 1,700 classroom blocks for schools under tress have been awarded throughout the country.
It said: “President Mills also stated that 4,320 schools under trees that existed in 2009 would be reduced by about 40 per cent on completion of the 1,700 classroom blocks. We are on course to eradicating the schools under this phenomenon.”
“If the figures given by the president in both the 2011 and 2012 statements of the nations address are correct, it means by the end of the year the government would have removed 2,700 schools under trees, constituting 62.5 reduction instead of the 40 per cent stated in the President address.”
The statement said: “COSA is worried about the inconsistencies in the figures given especially for schools under trees, and therefore requesting government to make public the names of over 1,000 and current schools benefitting from the 1,700.”
It said: “COSA is of a strong conviction that if the afore-mentioned issues are published it will put Ghanaians in the position to assess the claims made by the President regarding schools under trees.
The statement said: “these are matters of serious public interest and we hope and believe that government will respond to this call with all the seriousness and urgency it deserves.” GNA