By Maxwell Ofori .
Government is considering terminating contracts under the Community Senior High Schools (SHS) Project that has not yet commenced, the Minister for Education, Mathew Opoku Prempeh has told Parliament.
According to the Minister, the move is to ensure that work progresses steadily, to create more space to accommodate students who are entering the SHS.
Member of Parliament for Krachi West, Helen Adjoa Ntoso had asked the Minister whether the Ministry had plans to construct the Osramane Community Day Senior High School building.
In a written response, captured in the day’s order paper, the Ministry indicated that the contractor, Messrs Happy Check Limited, after clearing the site failed to commence work on the project.
The contract was awarded in 2015, as part of the 101 E-blocks the previous government initiated. The site was also handed over to the contractor and work was expected to commence on September 25, 2015, for completion within 18 months.
According to the Ministry, following the failure of the contractor to start work, “the supervising consultant has issued warning letters to the contractor and recommended the termination of the contract for non-performance.
“Mr Speaker, the Ministry is considering termination of this contract and all similar uncommenced contracts under the Community Senior High Schools Project for possible re-award, based on the availability of funds,” the response stated.
It would be recalled that the erstwhile Mahama administration promised to build 200 of such E-blocks as part of the community day SHS policy. At the time of leaving office in 2017, not more than fifty had been completed and handed over.
Meanwhile, the Akufo-Addo led government, following the roll out of the free SHS policy announced it would construct more school blocks to absorb the increasing number of Junior High School leavers who are entering SHS.
Again, a question in the name of Peter Nortsu-Kotoe, MP for Akatsi North, sought to know what steps the Ministry was taking to absorb all privately trained teachers into the education sector.
The Minister responded in writing that the Ministry was reminded last year of the National Service Act, which requires graduates of all tertiary institutions to undertake National service before seeking formal employment.
The response added that, as a result, all graduates from the Colleges of Education, both private and public, were registered by the National Service Secretariat in collaboration with the Ghana Education Service to undertake their national service, “which they are currently undergoing.”
In the intervening period, the response said a total of 14,160 trained teachers from the Colleges of Education were posted by the GES in 2017.
The Ministry said 11,733 of these students came from public colleges and 2,427 from the private ones.