The Chairmen and Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS), at a recent news conference, highlighted challenges concerning the smooth running and administration of Second Cycle Schools such as non-payment of grant, tax on food items, persistent rationing of utilities – pipe borne water and huge electricity indebtedness.
The Unions made the call in a press release signed by Mr David Ofori Acheampong, General Secretary of the GNAT and Mr Christian Addai-Poku, President, NAGRAT and copied the Ghana News Agency.
The Unions said they deemed the Director-General’s reaction to the CHASS conference as “unfortunate, distasteful and not a reflection of the true state of affairs on the ground.”
The Teacher Unions said it was a fact that good nutrition leads to proper growth and development and directly related to academic work especially among adolescents in the secondary schools.
“What is even more worrying is the non-payment of the Government of Ghana grant since 2011. In actual fact, this grant is meant for the day-to-day administration of the school e.g. fuel for official vehicle, maintenance of school vehicle and other equipment such as photocopiers, telephones, purchasing of notebooks and other teaching logistics,” it said.
The GNAT and the NAGRAT said they were aware that on March 8, this year the CHASS wrote to the Minister of Education requesting for tax exemption on food items for student feeding, but unfortunately the response was yet to come.
“Meanwhile, this 17.5 per cent VAT and the 3 per cent withholding tax is charged on the paltry 3.30 Ghana cedis per student per day as feeding fee paid by parents and guardians.
“However, there is no gainsaying that the paltry 3.30 Ghana cedis per student per day for feeding is woefully inadequate to achieve this nutritional demands of our students,” they said.
The Unions said it was clear that no educational system could function effectively without adequate and timeous release of funds and that the delay and the non-payment of fees “are forms of austerity in education delivery in our system.”
They said already there were huge agitations among teachers on the non-payment of a number of arrears due them and that these put together, create a fertile ground for industrial disharmony.
The Unions said the issues raised were legitimate and affect education and assured CHASS of the support in their struggle for the right things to be done.
Source: GNA/News Ghana