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21.10.2013 Education

Basic schools waiting for supplies a month after re-opening

By Daily Graphic
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Almost one month after the re-opening of schools, many basic school pupils are yet to receive the full complement of their learning materials.

The situation has compelled teachers of some of the schools to improvise to prevent academic work from being interrupted.

But the Ministry of Education has promised that all the 22,000 basic schools across the country will receive their teaching and learning materials by the end of this month, Emmanuel Bonney reports.

It explained that the non-supply of the materials to the schools stemmed from the decision of the ministry to distribute the items to the schools directly rather than routing them through depots or warehouses for individual schools to go and collect them.

The teaching and learning materials include textbooks, teachers notebooks and chalk.

They are supposed to be distributed to 14,000 primary schools and 8,000 junior high schools.

The Head of Public Relations at the Ministry of Education, Mr Paul Krampah, told the Daily Graphic that some schools had already received the full complement of their materials.

'Hopefully by the end of this month, all the schools would have received their allocations', he said.

He said in the past, some of the schools had difficulties transporting their allocations from a central distribution point to the schools and thus, the decision to send the items to their doorsteps.

Upper East Region
From Bolgatanga, Benjamin Xornam Glover reports that checks in two districts of the Upper East Region have revealed that basic schools had not received adequate supplies of teaching and learning materials weeks after schools had re-opened.

In a random interview with a number of teachers and parents in the Kassena-Nankana East municipality and the Builsa North District of the region, it was revealed that teachers had had to improvise with regard to items such as class registers, while others had to deal with the problem of inadequate textbooks.

The Municipal Education Director, Mr Augustine Ayirizang, said the directorate received some textbooks for both primary and junior high schools at the beginning of the academic year but they were not adequate.

"Ideally, we should have a one-to-one situation but that is not the case" he said.

In the meantime, Mr Ayirizang said the directorate had distributed the consignment to the schools while it waited for more.

He said some parents were providing textbooks for their children but added that in a deprived area such as his, it was not easy for parents to do so.

The Director of Education for Builsa North in the Upper East Region, Mr Bernard Akara, said the district was also grappling with inadequate supply of teaching and learning materials, such as class registers, textbooks and in some cases, chalk.

In the meantime, he urged teachers to use improvised class registers and also use part of their capitation grant to procure items such as chalk for use.

Volta Region
Schools in the Ho Municipality and in other parts of the region are yet to receive the full complement of their teaching and learning materials for the 2013/2014 academic year, reports Victor Kwawukume from Ho.

A number of schools visited had been supplied with textbooks and chalk but basic administrative materials such as attendance registers and notebooks for teachers had not yet been supplied.

The Human Resource Director at the Ho Municipal Education Office, Mr Prosper Pi-Bansah, said the office was in the process of distributing supplies to schools.

Mr Pi-Bansah said the Municipal Education Office was waiting for further supplies.

The respective heads of the Bankoe E.P. Primary and the Philip Akpo Memorial Basic School confirmed same, saying they were waiting for the remaining materials to be supplied.

But the Regional Director of Education, Mr Emmanuel Ketteku, while admitting that some supplies had not been received, he added that some of the items that heads of schools were waiting for could be purchased with the government's capitation given to the schools.

The capitation, he said, was meant for expenses on teaching and learning materials but some heads of schools failed to use it.

From Takoradi Kwame Asiedu Marfo & Andrews Tetteh, report that most of the schools visited in the metropolis refused to provide information on the state of supply of teaching and learning materials.

At the time of Graphic's visit, heads of the schools were said to be in a meeting at Fijai near Sekondi. Their deputies said they did not have the authority to provide such information.

Some basic schools in the Tamale Metropolis that cannot wait until they receive their supplies of teaching and learning materials from the government have, in the interim, provided chalk and other educational materials on their own, to facilitate teaching and learning in the schools, reports Vincent Amenuveve from Tamale.

Other schools are waiting on the government to provide the items.

Authorities of the Bishops Roman Catholic Junior High School in Tamale, for instance, are managing the situation by raising funds from the school's Parent Teacher Association to procure some items such as chalk.

A source at the Bishop school, who pleaded anonymity, said the school had received its supply of textbooks but not registers and chalk.

From Koforidua, A. Kofoya-Tetteh reports that an interaction he had with the Deputy Chief Supply Officer in charge of the region, Mr Anthony Kyere, indicated that schools in the region had no problem with the supply of teaching and learning materials.

However, during visits to some of the schools, it was revealed that some had not received their supplies, while other schools had received items that they did not need. For instance, schools with marker boards had been supplied with chalk instead of markers and vice versa. The situation had compelled heads of such schools to use their internally generated funds to purchase the needed items.

The schools visited included the Presbyterian Primary and JSS, Archbishop Lemaire Anglican Primary and JSS at Betoom, St John Bosco Primary and JSS at Srodae where some of the teachers said the text books and exercise books supplied were not enough.

The A.M. Zion Primary and JHS at Srodae was the only school that had received the full complement of supplies.

Daily Graphic/Ghana

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