Prioritize basic school infrastructure development – NUGS to President Akufo-Addo

The National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) has called on the government to prioritize the construction and development of infrastructure facilities in basic schools across the country.

NUGS made the request today 31 August 2022, through their President, Dennis Appiah Larbi-Ampofo, when he led a delegation to pay a courtesy call on President Akufo-Addo, at the Jubilee House.

“Over the last few years, as a country, we have appreciated when it comes to basic school enrolment. We have gotten up to about 95%, but we still have a critical issue in rural areas and that is basic school infrastructure.

Your government has been tremendous when it comes to senior high school and tertiary support.

Mr President, on the behalf of the people across the corners and quarters of this country, we are begging you that, going forward, if it is possible, which I know it is possible, we should prioritize basic school infrastructure” Larbi-Ampofo the NUGS president said in his address.

Appropriate call

President Akufo-Addo, in his response to this request by NUGS, indicated that it is a call in the right direction considering the fact that the country has seen a sharp increase in the levels of enrolment at the basic school level.

“I think that the emphasis that you are placing on the need for us to prioritize basic school infrastructure is a good emphasis. All those who are involved in the thinking and practice of educational policy will always tell you that the critical work is done at the basic level” President Akufo-Addo said.

To this end, an effective basic school system the President says is vital because the rest, (secondary and tertiary levels), will follow as a matter of course if the basic level is well catered for.

SFP Challenges

On the government’s school feeding initiative, the NUGS President noted that there is disquiet on the student front because resources allocated for the programme are extremely inadequate.

He, therefore, called on President Akufo-Addo, to as a matter of priority, give the programme some attention to sustain it, particularly because of its bearing on the UN sustainable development goal of malnutrition and ending hunger.

“Young people who benefit from the school feeding programme are complaining and the complaint is very simple; that the amount of money earmarked for the school feeding programme is woefully inadequate.

My last checks clearly reveal that it is less than a cedi. It takes a magician to feed anybody in this country with less than a cedi. We are begging you and your good office to look at it and it must be quick” the NUGS President stated.

Pledge to address concerns

President Akufo-Addo, in his reaction to the issue of school feeding and other concerns such as the delay in the release of nurses’ training allowances, the financing of the “No Guarantor Student Loan Scheme”, and the payment of both local and foreign scholarships, indicated that in spite of the current obvious economic challenges the country is experiencing, the government will do well to address them forthwith.

“I think they are legitimate matters you have put before us. They are serious matters and I think that they are matters that we need to deal with” President Akufo-Addo said.

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