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21.10.2005 General News

Model Schools Contracts to be terminated for non-performance

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Accra, Oct. 21, GNA - The Ministry of Education and Sports (MOES) is planning to terminate the contracts, which have delayed under the first phase of the 31 Model Senior Secondary Schools Building Project, a Deputy Minister of Education warned on Friday. Mr Kwame Ampofo Twumasi, Deputy Minister of Education and Sports in-charge of Secondary and Technical Education, told the GNA in Accra: "We will look for contractors, who are serious at the sites and re-award the contracts to them to complete the work on time.

Mr Twumasi said about 380 billion cedis had already been paid to some contractors and more than 300 billion cedis was yet to be paid, adding that the Government would have spent up to about 700 billion cedis by the end of the first phase.

The Model Schools Projects is one of President John Agyekum Kufuor's campaign promises to upgrade at least one senior secondary school in each district to attract students from the district to attend schools there to reduce the overcrowding in the few well-endowed schools.

Contracts to this effect were awarded in October 2003. Works, which commenced in March 2004, were scheduled for completion between September and October 2004. Funding for the project is from the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Fund.

Mr Twumasi attributed the delay to several causes including the documentation, which had to be done by two parties and the payment processes.

He said the initial cost of an average project was 16 billion cedis per each school but because of the delay the cost had risen to about 20 billion cedis.

He, however, praised contractors in the Northern Region for completing their contracts on time and to the specification. He cited Bawku; Asougyaman; Shama; Hwidiem; Kadjebi; Asato; Adidome; Lawra and Wa as those that could soon be inaugurated. He said four new sites were being developed for four senior secondary schools because the old sites had limited land space. These include Ghanata in Greater Accra Region; Twifo Praso in the Central Region, Oyoko Methodist in Eastern Region and Shama in the Western Region.

Mr Twumasi said the Ministry was moving to the second phase of building 25 model schools adding that consultants had been engaged. The Minister later visited the Odorgonno Senior Secondary School with the GNA to inspect work on the ongoing projects. The projects in the school include, two separate storey buildings to be used as classrooms, a dining and assembly hall complex, a computer laboratory, home economics block, girls and boys dormitories and teachers' flats.