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General News of Friday, 22 October 2021

Source: 3news.com

Minority’s claim that Mahama’s E-blocks have been abandoned inaccurate – MoE

One of the E-blocks built by former President, John Dramani Mahama One of the E-blocks built by former President, John Dramani Mahama

The Ministry of Education (MoE), has dismissed claims that the E-block projects started by the Mahama administration have been abandoned by the Akufo-Addo-led government.

This comes after the Minority in Parliament have described as disappointing the failure of the Akufo-Addo administration to complete all the E-block senior high school project.

Peter Nortsu-Kotoe, Member of Parliament for Akatsi North and Ranking Member on the Education Committee of Parliament, wondered whether the current government has love for the people when this project has not been completed.

“I am disappointed, I am at a loss because if you know that your predecessor has invested public funds, why do you abandon the projects? Is it hatred for the people or it is love. This one is complete hatred,” he told journalists after touring some of the uncompleted projects on Tuesday, October 19.

The Minority has said they would cause a probe into the 1.5 billion dollar security that was approved for the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) to undertake the completion of critical educational Facility.

Dr. Clement Apaak, Deputy Ranking Member, Education Committee of Parliament told journalists after a tour of some uncompleted projects in the country on Tuesday, October 19 2021 that “We are all aware of the inadequacy of infrastructure which is why the obnoxious double-track system was introduced.

“So when we have structures like this 90 percent complete, at a cost of 9 million cedis and yet we cannot complete it for students to have access to education, for classroom sizes to be reduced for communities to have hope that their wards are going to benefit from the free senior high school, clearly, we cannot forgive government.

“Because the 1.5 million dollars that GETFund was securitized to obtain was supposed to help complete what they themselves described as essential educational infrastructure and they indicated in their memo to parliament to parliament that was to address the increasing number of students who have come on stream as a result of the coming into being of the free SHS policy, so why is this here.

“Is it that we don’t have the money? What have they done with the 1.5billion that we securitized the GETFund for? Is it not time they come to parliament to account for how much of the critical educational infrastructure they have completed so that we know there is value for money in a community such as this that doesn’t even have a secondary school. Is it fair?”

But reacting to their concerns in a statement issued on Thursday, October 21, the spokesperson of the sector Minister, Kwasi Kwarteng explained that from 2017 to Date, 31 new schools have been constructed bringing the total number of completed projects to 60 as of September 2020. It is important to note that all the 60 completed schools have been operationalized and are currently in use.

The remaining sixty-four (64) projects, he said, have been categorized into three (3) groups. Category A includes twenty-one (21) structures at sixty percent (60%) and above completion.

Category B consists of sixteen (16) structures which are between 25%- 60% completion. Category C consists of twenty-seven (27) terminated contracts which include projects that did not start and those that were at substructure level.

Below is his full statement…

RE: MINORITY TO HAUL EDUCATION MINISTER TO PARLIAMENT OVER ABANDONED E-BLOCKS

Recall that in 2012, the erstwhile Government announced its intention to build 200 Community Day Senior High Schools in the country to enhance access to Secondary Education. It is instructive to note that contracts were awarded for 124 out of the speculated number of 200.

It was expected that 101 out of the 124 will be funded by the Government of Ghana (GoG) in two phases. Phase I of the project consists of fifty (50) schools and commenced in March 2014. Phase II was made up of fifty-one (51) and commenced in July 2015.

The World Bank funded the construction of an additional twenty-three (23) districts under the Secondary Education Improvement Project (SEIP), which commenced in July 2015. This brought the total number of the E-Blocks to 124. Note that out of the 124, only 29 were completed between 2014-2016.

From 2017 to Date, 31 new schools have been constructed bringing the total number of completed projects to 60 as of September 2020. It is important to note that all the 60 completed schools have been operationalized and are currently in use. The remaining sixty-four (64) projects have been categorized into three (3) groups. Category A includes twenty-one (21) structures at sixty percent (60%) and above completion. Category B consists of sixteen (16) structures which are between 25%- 60% completion. Category C consists of twenty-seven (27) terminated contracts which include projects that did not start and those that were at substructure level.

It is therefore inaccurate to suggest that the CDSHS projects have been abandoned. Government of Ghana/Ministry of Education remains committed to completing all the remaining projects. Attached is a summary of completed schools

KWASI KWARTENG
SPOKESPERSON-MINISTRY OF EDUCATION.

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