The Minister of Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, has painted a bleak picture of the state of affairs in the education sector at the time his predecessor, Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang left office in January 2017, describing the bills as ‘huge’.
Dr. Prempeh, who is also MP for Manhyia, made this revelation in a comprehensive statement to Parliament earlier today on education reforms and teacher education since the NPP government assumed office.
“Mr. Speaker…we met huge outstanding bills under the leadership of Prof. Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang as Minister of Education, on key supplies for education service delivery. There was outstanding bill of approximately GHS 9m on Capitation Grant, GHS 4m on Feeding Grant for Special Schools, GHS 14m on exercise books to basic schools, and GHS 4m on the supply of school uniforms among many others.”
He continued, “Moreover, there were delays in the disbursement of capitation and feeding grants for Special Schools affecting the effective operation of the schools. Within the period, Government has cleared all the arrears and ensured timely release of capitation and feeding grants for Special Schools”, he said to loud cheers from the Majority in the House.
It will be recalled that Dr. Opoku Prempeh has on previous occasions criticized his predecessor, who is currently the running mate of the NDC ahead of the 2020 general elections for her handling of the Education Ministry, and it is expected that education will be one of the biggest battle grounds ahead of the elections as the two main parties tussle over their records in the sector.
In his statement, Dr. Prempeh touched on other initiatives and reforms rolled out by the NPP government in the education sector, including teacher training, staff promotion, the teacher licensure regime, infrastructure investments, a legal and regulatory framework, improvements in the Technical, Vocational Education & Training (TVET) subsector and several others.