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CHASS suspends co-curricular activities for lack of funds

BY: Emmanuel Bonney
Yakub A.B. Abubakr — President, CHASS
Yakub A.B. Abubakr — President, CHASS

The Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS) has directed that all co-curricular activities in senior high schools be temporarily suspended.

The activities include the National Science and Maths Quiz (NSMQ), sports, culture and Sharks Quiz programmes.

According to CHASS, money received by the schools so far was meant for perishables, and that was not even adequate for feeding.

“Much of the money sent to the schools these days is for perishables, and apart from the fact that it is inadequate for even the feeding of the students, it will equally be misappropriation of funds if we continuously use such money for things it is not intended for,” CHASS said in a resolution at its national executive council (NEC) meeting in Koforidua in the Eastern Region last Thursday.

Needful

The conference, however, said members should do the needful when money for the specific programmes was lodged in the accounts of schools.

“We also resolve that assistance from old students is welcome, but it should not be a yardstick to participate in those programmes. About 70 per cent of our schools do not have such vibrant old students and so the competition becomes a one-way affair for the so-called first-class schools.

“Regional chairs should liaise with their regional directors and old boys to explain matters to them to forestall any misunderstanding of the stance taken by CHASS,” it added.

Early this month, the Daily Graphic reported that some school heads and parents were making frantic efforts to get the government and members of the public to assist them with foodstuffs to feed students in public second-cycle schools, following the inadequate supplies to the schools.

Checks by the paper in some schools in Accra, Cape Coast, Kumasi, Bolgatanga and Ho indicated that while some of them were satisfied with their food supplies, the situation in others was dire.

Meanwhile, foodstuff supplies to schools by the National Food Buffer Stock Company (NFBSC) are still ongoing.

Minister’s assurance

The Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, told Parliament last week that the government was working towards the payment of an outstanding debt of about GH¢340 million owed the NFBSC as of July 18, 2022.

He said although about GH¢328 million had been paid to the suppliers of the NFBSC, a substantial amount was still in arrears and gave an assurance that the government would continue to make payments as and when funds were made available by the Ministry of Finance.

"As I speak with you, some people have picked up their cheques from the company, so as and when money becomes available, suppliers are paid,” the minister said.