The one hundred and eighty (180) public basic schools in the Kwahu West District have received a total of 801.7 million cedis as Capitation Grant this academic year, which was paid in two installments.
Each school child had so far benefited from an amount of 23,880 cedis leaving a balance of 6,120 cedis for the third and last installment to make up the 30,000 cedis per annum for each school child.
The District Director of Education, Mr. Seth Koranteng, announced this at a sensitisation durbar which was organized by the Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition (GNECC) to explain the capitation grant for ten communities at Fodoa, near Nkawkaw.
According to him, the introduction of the grant had led to an increased enrolment in the schools from 10,624 to 12,252 children, and also had also brought the need for the provision of more infrastructure, teachers, as well as education officers, to monitor the work of the teachers and the school children.
Mr. Koranteng explained that the institution of the grant was to address some of the financial problems facing parents to send their children to school and also empowered the schools to effectively use the financial resources to plan and carry out school quality improvement activities to ensure the success of the Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education(FCUBE) programme.
He therefore, urged parents to contribute to the programme by purchasing school uniforms, sandals, exercise books, pencils and pens for their children to enable them to attend school.
The Assistant Eastern Regional Secretary of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), Mrs Gifty Apanbil, said only 42 out of the 188 classroom blocks in the district are in good shape, some are under construction with children in 50 schools studying under sheds.
She said 125 schools in the district have no toilets or urinal, while 16,974 pupils have no furniture which is affecting effective teaching and learning in the schools.
The Assistant Regional GNAT Secretary said the district education office had also not got the full complement of staff, while only 82 out of 1,018 teachers in the district were trained and therefore called for in-service training for the untrained teachers to enhance their performances.
She called for educational stakeholders, especially the communities and parents, to provide some of the educational needs to improve the standard of education in the country.
In an address read on his behalf, the National Co-ordinator of the GNECC, Mr. Michael Ansah, appealed to the government to address challenges facing the effective implementation of the capitation grant to ensure its success.
He said the current level of 30,000 cedis per pupil per annum is inadequate to cater for demands like sports, culture festival and printing of examination papers and therefore suggested that 60,000 cedis should be paid to pupils in the Kindagattens and primary schools while those at the JSS should be given 70,000 cedis.
Mr Ansah said in some districts, only between 6,000 and 9,000 cedis are retained in the schools out of the 30,000 cedis and called for stream lining and harmonizing the amount that should be retained by the Ghana Education Service and ensure effective disbursement and accounting procedures at the districts and school levels.
The Eastern Regional Co-ordinator of the GNECC, Mr Lawrence Batsa, said the Regional branch was working out to achieve a universal primary education for all school children, irrespective of gender by 2015 and also promote gender equity by eliminating gender disparity and ensure quality education for the girl-child.