September is one of the difficult months in the life of many parents and guardians, as most schools are set to reopen.
From the basic, secondary to tertiary level, academic activities for the year starts in September.
About a fortnight ago, the Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS) pleaded with the government to settle some longstanding arrears of boarding grants meant for the second-cycle institutions in the Upper East region as reopening nears.
According to them, the delay in clearing the debts, according to the CHASS, is the biggest of the challenges hampering academic work at the various boarding schools.
“The challenges. Number one is our boarding grants. It is in arrears of two terms. And you know, that is what has helped us to implement the free SHS. You know the new system, the food items and the money for ingredients were not released early. But you know, if you have your children, you don’t discriminate; so, we used that to manage for the free SHS.
“It’s in arrears of two terms. We are just on our knees begging if they even release one term. As for us, we are able to manage debts. Our counterparts down south normally ask us, ‘How are you able to manage?’ But we are able to manage. We are saying that if you release one term for us, we won’t have problems. We’ll be able to reopen and, then, manage until a time that everything settles down,” said the CHASS Upper East Regional Chairperson, Francisca Yizura.
CHASS is not alone in this, Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFUND) contractors are crying, National Health Insurance providers are crying, the list is endless.
How does the government expect the Headmasters and Headmistresses to feed students, if they are in arrears for two terms?
Arrears owed contractors and suppliers, has been generating concern, despite assurances by the government that there is no cause for alarm.
Businesses risk collapsing, if the government continues to hold onto monies owed contractors and suppliers, they have children and dependants, who must report to school in two weeks time.
Continuing students in the Northern part of the country, may not be able to report to school on September 8, should the government fail to heed to the calls of CHASS in that region.
It is the view of this newspaper that the government must not be profligate with regard to the management of its resources; it should rather channel it into avenues that will stimulate growth and boost the economy.