CHRAJ wants government to increase capitation grant

Accra (GH) December 2011

The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) is recommending an increment in the capitation grant from next academic year.

CHRAJ is also calling on the government to ensure that the grants are released to the various schools in the country early enough “before the commencement of each school term”.

These recommendations were made at the climax of the 2011 Human Rights and Integrity week by Commissioner Lauretta Vivian Lamptey.

According to her, monitoring exercise conducted by the commission revealed that a large number of schools especially, basic schools in rural communities lack adequate teaching and learning materials notwithstanding the government’s Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education policy.

The exercise also revealed that despite government’s provision of the capitation grant, about 60% of schools monitored continue to charge fees to support their operations due to the inadequacy of the grant. This it says has resulted in a good number of Ghanaian children being out of school despite the free education at the basic level, a development she describes as “disturbing”.

“The continuous existent of non-school going children who are supposed to enjoy free basic education is disturbing. Of the 211 basic public schools inspected last year, to evaluate the disbursement of the capitation grant, the grant has improved funding support for the school; however, 60% of the schools monitored continue to charge fees to support their operation due to the inadequacy of the grant. Delays in release of the grant are seriously undermining the efficacy of the program”, the report stated.

It is in this regard that the commission is recommending an increase in the grant from the current amount to GHC7 per child from next year.

“The commission commends the government for increasing the capitation grant; however, in the view of the commission, this rate is still too low. We therefore recommend that the capitation grant be increased to GHC7 per child from 2012. Also we call on the government to release the grant to the schools before the commencement of each school term. The capitation grant should be administered in such a manner that will ensure all Ghanaian children benefit from high quality basic education”.

Touching on corporal punishment in the nation’s schools, Ms Lamptey called on the Ghana Education Service to put in place mechanisms to ensure strict supervision and compliance with its policy on corporal punishment in schools as reports are that some teachers are not respecting the GES policy on corporal punishment thereby injuring pupils and students.