A development and advocacy group has expressed dissatisfaction about the alleged non-payment of School Feeding grant to second cycle schools in the Northern part of the country.
The Association of Citizens of Bolgatanga, Nangodi, Bongo, Tongo and its environs, (BONABOTO), expressed the worry in a statement signed by Mr Lance Adogba, President of group, copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Tuesday.
It said the situation was creating tension in the schools and could lead to their closure in the coming week if the grant is not paid immediately.
The statement said: “Our checks with members of Conferences of Head of Assisted Secondary Schools in the regions indicate that though schools are in the second term, Government has only paid 35 per cent of the first term grant for the second to third year students with the remaining 65 per cent not paid, to date, let alone pay the second term grant.
It said Government has also not paid any grant at all for first year students since the academic year started and that “This is a very regrettable situation that must be rectified now, to ensure the smooth running of the schools.”
The statement said the BONABOTO noted that in the beginning of the academic year, Government has not also paid to the schools the absorbed school fees, which were taken over by Government since 2000.
The group asked the Government to take action now to avert further embarrassment of the Heads of Institutions who have always managed the situation with credit from suppliers.
The statement said the feeding grant issue was a persistent problem in schools in the northern part of Ghana, and called on Government to act now in the interest of the students.
It called for the formation of a committee to investigate the perennial problem and recommend a permanent solution, to forestall future occurrence.
The statement suggested that disciplinary action should be taken against any staff of the Ministry of Education, who might cause administrative lapses or negligence in the payment of the grant, to ensure public service responsibility and accountability.
It said: “We call on all civil society groups to join forces with us to support our hard working head of institutions, who have demonstrated exceptional responsibility in keeping the schools running in the face of all difficulties.”
The statement noted that the northern part of Ghana was lagging behind in many social indicators, and any attempts to marginalize the already poor northern regions, would aggravate the plight of the people and widen the development gap between the Northern and the Southern parts of Ghana. GNA