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15.12.2005 Regional News

Participants express concern about flaws in Capitation Grant

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Cape Coast, Dec 15, GNA - A cross-section of the public and some educationists have said the Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE) was beset with flaws that was hindering its smooth implementation. They said the Capitation Grant of 30,000 cedis per child, even though inadequate, had not been received and had left many educational heads "hand tied" and this had made it impossible to render the "quality education" that the government keeps talking about. They said this at a forum organised on Wednesday by the Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC) for the public and stakeholders to discuss the 2006 national budget.

Some managers of schools said what was most disturbing was that classrooms are overflowing with pupils while most teachers are either on study leave or doing distance education. They said attempts to recruit pupil teachers to deal with the inflow of admissions since the introduction of the Capitation Grant had not been successful because the procedure is cumbersome and by the time one of such teachers was recruited the term would have ended. They said as at now only two mathematics books, one each for primary one and two, have been received and asked how there would be effective teaching and learning with such problems.

Dr Isaac Acheampong, a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Economics at the University of Cape Coast who chaired the function, said the implementation of the Capitation Grant "has been messy." Textbooks are lacking and monies that should be released for the programme have not been received and parents have not received any education about the grant. Dr John Victor Mensah, a Research Fellow at the Centre for Development Studies at UCC, said the exercise should have been gradual with parents contributing a little until it is phased out.

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