Release Capitation grants to schools – Challenging Heights


Challenging Heights has called on government to release all outstanding arrears of the Capitation grant to public basic schools ahead of their re-opening this September. This will mitigate the frustrations currently being faced by heads of those basic schools, said a statement signed by Challenging Heights president, James Kofi Annan.

Public basic schools are due to re-open for the third term of the 2022 academic year, and there are reports that all public basic schools are owed capitation grants – reportedly in excess of GH¢300million.

The Capitation Grant was introduced in the 2003/2004 academic year to offer Free, Compulsory, Universal Basic Education (FCUBE) for all school-going children of Ghana, in fulfilment of Article 25(1) (a) of Ghana’s 1992 Constitution, which states that: “Basic education shall be free, compulsory and available to all”. The scheme was therefore introduced to replace all fees paid by parents in public basic schools in order to expand access, and to support school performance improvement efforts by the schools.

Currently, government pays GH¢10 per child per term. However, the delay in releasing funds is essentially eroding its intended benefits to Ghana’s educational system.

There are reports that the delay in releasing the funds is forcing heads of some basic schools to levy parents to help run their schools. There are also reports that many headteachers are requesting their district directors to relieve them of their positions to become ordinary teachers, owing to the perennial financial constraints and frustrations they go through because of the undue delays in release of the grant. This is a newly-discovered phenomenon in some districts, and has the tendency of derailing efforts to improve teacher motivation.

A report by Challenging Heights (June 2022) indicates that there are over 60% of children living along Lake Volta are involved in child labour. Child labour is one of the problems the Capitation Grant is meant to address.

The Capitation grants paid by government are to cover general stationery and management, office machinery, first-aid, building maintenance, sporting fees, cultural fees, sanitation fees, furniture and tools, textbook user fees and practical fees, as well as machinery for technical schools and institutions.

Given the Ghana Education Service directive for head teachers not to charge levies and pre-finance activities under their supervision, we would in addition wish to advocate for a relook at the grant’s financial framework. Challenging Heights is calling on government to put in place measures to ensure a sustainable means of generating funds to support the management and administration of basic schools – given the persistent unreliable inflow of the grant, especially at impoverished settlements with high illiteracy rates.

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