Alleged food shortage on Senior High School (SHS) campuses in the country has compelled heads of institutions to push forward their vacation dates to between July 22 and 28. Daily Guide has gathered that all students in government second-cycle schools will be packing bag and baggage to embark on a premature journey to their various homes since appeals by the Conference of Heads of Assisted Senior High Schools (CHASS) to get government to increase SHS subventions from the current 80Gp to an appreciable amount, say GH¢1.20, have not yielded any positive response.
The Ghana Education Service (GES) and the Ministry of Education both said in earlier reports that government was ready to pay GH¢1, which CHASS described as inadequate. At the Labone Senior High School in Accra, some students who spoke to DAILY GUIDE revealed that their vacation date had already been fixed for first week of August until news broke later that “we would be going home on July 28”. According to them, they had not enjoyed a balanced diet since school re-opened as compared to previous terms when “we took sumptuous and healthy delicacies”.
When contacted, Headmistress of the school, Mrs. Joyce Osei-Agyekum argued that there was no food shortage as was being speculated. The truth of the matter, according to her, was that students could no longer feed on the meagre 80Gp because prices of foodstuff on the market keep escalating by the day. Her hopes were that government would find a lasting solution to the problem.
The Headmaster of Presbyterian Boys Senior High School (PRESEC), Africanus Anane, also denied there was a food shortage on campus, adding however that though the school is making it possible for students to enjoy quality meals and live healthy lives, government must increase the subvention as a matter of urgency because managing the current situation was eating deep into the school’s coffers. However, Mr. Anane noted that the current situation had not affected students’ academic work but “I think if it is not resolved on time, things would go wrong”.
He mentioned that when the school fell short of foodstuff, its suppliers gave them the items on credit while payments were made later on. This, he added, had sustained PRESEC to date. Per his estimation, the school spent about GH¢1.40 on each student, which is far above government’s quota. He explained that due to the hiccup, students would leave for home on July 22 instead of the July 24 official date. The school, he disclosed, could no longer incur any additional cost, urging parents to put government on its toes to review its financial aid to public schools. Koforidua Senior High School (KOSEC) would as well vacate on July 27 instead of August 5 this year.
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