27.05.2005 Regional News

GES asks Northern Region schools to reopen on Sunday

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Accra, May 27, GNA- The Ghana Education Service (GES), on Friday directed public secondary schools in the Northern Region to reopen on Sunday, to start the second term, held up for days, due to the lack of feeding grants.

The directive has brought relief to members of the Association of the Board of Governors who expressed anxiety over the late commencement of the academic calendar.

Alhaji Basit Abdulai Fuseini, Chairman of the Association, made this known to the Ghana News Agency in an interview. He said bursars of the schools were in Accra to collect 20 per cent arrears of their feeding grant for last term to start the second term, whilst awaiting the budgetary allocation for the rest of the academic year.

He asked Government to initiate effective measures to ensure the timely release of grants in future to ensure uninterrupted academic work.

Alhaji Fuesini 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. He 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 people in the northerner part of the country.

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 for storage during the farming season and to be sold 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.

Commenting on the strike action by the National Association of Graduate Teachers, he said it would have an adverse effect on teaching and learning in the region and called for a speedy resolution of the impasse.

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