Dr. Clement Apaak, the deputy ranking Member of Parliament’s Education Committee, has questioned why the government has failed to provide the necessary funding for feeding, particularly in special schools.
According to the lawmaker representing Builsa South constituency, the government has cut funds for Capitation and Feeding Grant to Special Schools, while feeding grants to schools are behind schedule.
He bemoaned the government’s lack of commitment to laying a solid foundation in basic education.
He stated that the Capitation Grant arrears are more than Ghc45 million, and the requested allocation for 2023 is Ghc61 million with an allocation of Ghc11 million, making it impossible for the schools to function effectively.
It would have been prudent for much more resources to be allocated to defray 2022 arrears and make room for next year, but that was not the case.
He went on to say that printers who printed textbooks for the government to distribute in our schools had not been paid.
He attributed this to the capping of GETFund.
He said the Fund doesn’t have the resources to pay the arrears.
”I want to reemphasize the case we are making for this House to decap GETFund so that in addition to paying these printers, we can also augment academic space at the tertiary level.”
He said although the free SHS policy had always received the biggest budgetary allocation, the challenges there ”still persist”.
He added that the government has still failed to provide details on the exact amount spent on the policy.
”Mr. Speaker, feeding grants for special schools is also an area that has seen drastic cuts. We are talking about the School for the Deaf, School for the Blind. We know these are our brothers and sisters who are already disadvantaged; and you will think that around these times, we would allocate more resources so that at least their conditions can also improve.
Unfortunately, out of the total request of Ghc20 million, in addition to arrears of Ghc 8 million, the government through the Ministries, is only allocating slightly above Ghc 8 million. It is not even enough to pay the arrears. Why do we do this to the most vulnerable,” he added.