The involvement of School Management Committees (SMCs) and Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) to ensure transparency and accountability in the financial management of capitation grants in basic schools has seen tremendous improvement in the Asante-Akim South Municipality.
This comes on the back of the implementation of the Strengthening Social Accountability for Social Protection Project, aimed at empowering key stakeholders to monitor the disbursement of the capitation grant and the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP), in the Municipality.
A current survey, commissioned by the Youth Development, Research and Innovation Centre (YOUDRIC), the project facilitator, has confirmed this.
The survey sampled 10 communities where respondents including 15 chairpersons of the SMCs/PTAs as well as 20 parents, were given questionnaires to answer on the project and its impact.
The communities are Atwedie, Nnadieso, Nyakoma, Pra-River, Nkyesa, Adansi, Asankare, Yawkwei, Bompata and Breku.
Feedback from the respondents suggested that expenditure of the capitation grants have been more transparent with the involvement of the SMCs.
The survey further revealed that the preparation of the School Performance Improvement Plan (SPIP), hitherto prepared solely by school heads and endorsed by the chairpersons, who were not even privy to the actual content of that document, is no longer the case.
The quality and quantity of food served the pupils under the GSFP has also improved, according to the respondents.
The situation is pointing to the responsiveness of the stakeholders to YOUDRIC’s sensitization fora held across the Municipality to educate them on the need to take keen interest in the GSFP and make sure it worked.
Mr Eric Kwabena Amano-Mpianim, the Programmes Manager of YOUDRIC, said initial encounter with the stakeholders indicated that they were not aware of their roles in the implementation of the two interventions.
He was, however, impressed with the level of awareness created among them following the implementation of the project and called for a sustained collaboration between the schools and the stakeholders to ensure accountability.
The project, receiving funding from STAR-Ghana as part of its anti-corruption campaign, feeds into the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP).