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22.05.2005 Regional News

Govt requested to release feeding grants for northern schools

By GNA

Accra, May 22, GNA- The Association of the Board of Governors of Secondary Schools in Tamale, has advised heads of public second cycle schools in the North to submit their students' signed lists, to the Ministry of Education and Sports in time to facilitate the release of their feeding grants.

Members also asked the Government to put in place effective measures to ensure the timely release of the grants to ensure an uninterrupted academic calendar.

They explained that the annual delay in disbursing the money was affecting educational pursuit in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions.

The Association stressed the need for a critical look at the situation in order to reverse the lingering effects of a deliberate colonial policy to deny northerners assess to education, which had undermined progress and development.

Alhaji Basit Abdulai Fuseini, Chairman of the Association, who made this known to the Ghana News Agency in interview, said: "If northerners were trained right from the beginning, it would have given rise to generations of families born into educated families". He said the Association was concerned about the poor position of schools in the North on the Ghana Education Service academic grading list of senior secondary schools.

The former Northern Regional Director of Education and Regional Minister, called for the intensification of supervision and the teaching and learning processes in the schools to enhance discipline and academic performance.

Alhaji Fuseini said widespread poverty had affected the morale of students many of whom failed to get the financial support of their parents and guardians to support their academic pursuit. He said a number of past leaders in the North such as, the late Tolon Na Yakubu Tali, Mr J.A. Brimah also the late Yagbonwura Timu, Alhaji Mumuni Bawumia, Mr B.K Adamah and Mr E.A Mahama appealed to British colonialists to address the issue.

The British Government was compelled to make an annual allocation of three million pounds for 10 years to boost infrastructural development in the three regions.

Alhaji Fuseini said soon after independence President Kwame Nkrumah introduced the special scholarship scheme for northerners. He expressed regret that successive governments had not given educational drive in the area the needed boost.

Alhaji Fuseini suggested the need for the district assemblies to use part of their poverty alleviation money, to buy foodstuffs during the farming season for storage and sell to the public secondary schools during the lean season to ensure uninterrupted academic work. He said members of parliament in the area should also use part of their share of the District Assemblies' Common Fund, to promote the proposed scheme.

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