Give us mandate to purchase food for students - CHASS demands from govt
The Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS) has called on managers of schools to allow their schools to procure food items to feed students.
That position, it said, had been an unblemished request from CHASS for a couple of years now due to the manner in which some suppliers disappointed it in the delivery of food items on time.
The National President of the CHASS, Rev. Stephen Owusu Sekyere, who made the call at the 61st annual conference of the association in Accra yesterday, also demanded a significant increase in money allocated for all activities to meet the current increase in prices of goods and services.
“We are of the firm belief that procuring the food items by ourselves from our traditional suppliers will help to solve the acute shortages of food items in our schools,” he added.
The annual gathering of CHASS was basically to bring together educational leaders across the nation for a common purpose to share ideas on best practices as school leaders, hoping to achieve excellence in the delivery of education at the senior high school (SHS) level.
Rev. Sekyere said, “We have a firm belief that procuring the food items by ourselves from our traditional suppliers will help deal with the shortages of food and reduce the logistical and operational challenges that come with it.”
He said the schools were not financially resourced enough to enable it to carry out very important recurring activities.
As a result, Rev. Sekyere noted that routine maintenance works such as plumbing, carpentry, masonry, electrical works, painting and servicing of some equipment in offices had become very difficult to undertake.
He also expressed grave concern over delays in the supply of school uniforms to newly-admitted students, which, he said, paved way for truancy.
National president further said conduct of internal examinations had also become difficult and, therefore, requested that money for such examinations must be increased.
“Subsequent release for the conduct of practicals must meet the cost.
Management must also ensure the timely release of the entire funding of schools to make the work less stressful,” he stressed.
As a human institution managing the largest human resource in the country, Rev. Sekyere said the CHASS could not pretend that all was well with the profession as leaders of SHS in the country.
Rev. Sekyere expressed concern about the increasing rate of indiscipline and misconduct that had bedevilled most senior high schools, saying some of these misconducts such as hooliganism, bullying, occultism and drug abuse had their roots from the homes and communities of the culprits.
While acknowledging the recently approved code of conduct for SHS, Rev. Sekyere asked that CHASS must be given some discretionary powers at the level of board of governors to handle more serious issues to fast-track justice delivery in schools.
He, therefore, called on all stakeholders of education to support the schools to help mould the young ones for a brighter future.
Touching on the free SHS policy, he said, “Our roles, as heads of SHS in the country, are very critical in shaping the future of our students, our country, and the world.”
To that end, he said, every contribution and suggestion must be welcomed for the purposes of shaping the free SHS policy.
“The free SHS is a very good initiative that has served as a springboard for the less-privileged in the country to have access to secondary education.
“CHASS recognised the commitment of government to restore senior high technical schools and also the unwavering effort of government to sustain the Free SHS policy,” he said, and mentioned the provision of classrooms, dormitory infrastructure, furniture and vehicles as some of the additional incentives.
He, however, asked for more of such support to improve the conditions of the schools.