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08.06.2005 General News

Government to continue relying on communities in pre-school financing

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Accra, June 8, GNA - Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Minister of Education and Sports, on Wednesday said the Government would continue to rely on the support of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), faith-based organisations and communities in financing nursery school education. He said the Ghana Education Service (GES) was, however, responsible for personnel emolument, administration and service expenses of all kindergartens attached to the public school system in the country.

The Minister was responding to a question in Parliament on whether the Ministry would consider taking on board the payment of salaries of nursery teachers, who are being paid by the communities. He said the Government would provide the needed support to the District Assemblies to enable them to take care of the payment of salaries of kindergarten teachers in line with the policy of mainstreaming kindergarten as part of basic education. In response to another question, Mr Osafo-Maafo said the Ministry had two key incentive packages to motivate teachers to teach in deprived areas. These, he said, were the study leave with pay package and the programme for the distribution of household items and electrical appliances to teachers in deprived areas at reduced prices. He said the policy of study leave with pay had been effective but the large number of applicants for the study leave each year was undermining the programme. He said a committee had, therefore, been set up to review the policy, adding that the report of the committee was being studied. The Minister was answering a question from Mr Joseph Agbenu, NDC-Afram Plains North, on whether the Ministry had assessed the effectiveness of incentive packages to attract teachers to work in rural areas.

On the distribution of items to teachers in deprived areas, the Minister said the programme had some shortfall because it was discovered that beneficiaries were not consulted on the items, the items were sometimes misappropriated and also the beneficiaries preferred roofing sheets to other items. "Having regard to the aforementioned shortfalls, the whole programme is being reviewed to take into consideration the preferences of the beneficiaries."

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