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Kumasi Girls SHS Escape Closure   
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Authorities of Kumasi Girls Senior High School have rescinded an earlier decision to close down the school after the Electricity Company of Ghana disconnected power supply for non-payment of bills.

It took the intervention of the Regional Coordinating Council for ECG to restore power to the school which has a student population of over 1,900.

Frustrated Headmistress, Mary Krah-Ampofo said management had no option than to send the students packing. She wants government to address the issue of delays in the release of stipends to settle students’ utility bills.

Under the current educational reforms, government absorbs water, electricity and telephone bills of second cycle schools in the country. But delays in the release of funds threaten the smooth running of second-cycle institutions, especially in situations where utility consumption out-weighs government subventions.

Most government assisted education institutions are now battling with huge debts of unpaid utility bills. The Principal of St. Monica’s College of Education, Christian Sobotie at a graduation program for 180 teacher trainees revealed the school owed 80,000 Ghana cedis in water and electricity bills.

Kumasi Girls Senior High School recently received about GHC 28,000 for payment of utilities bills covering January to June this year.

School authorities have so far paid over GHC23,000 cedis to ECG, with an outstanding arrears of 16,000 Ghana Cedis. An additional 20 thousand was also spent on water from the school’s internally generated funds. Telephone bills are also outstanding.

Power was restored to the school only after the Regional Coordinating Council intervened but ECG still wants outright settlement of the bills. According to the headmistress, the Regional Education Office has been petitioned over the matter. Ms Krah-Ampofo said the issue was of major concern to school heads.“We paid GHC20,326 but still we have arrears to pay which is not our fault”, she explained in frustrations.

She wants the issue addressed as soon as possible to relieve school heads of the hustle they go through. “Right now most schools have the problem of payment of utility bills because in all the secondary schools, we don’t bill the students…..It is a subsidy that is given by the government…So once I have arrears to pay, most schools also have arrears to pay”, she explained.

Ms Krah-Ampofo called for a truce between school heads and utility service providers. “I am praying that there should be a compromise somewhere so that the schools would not be harassed”. Meanwhile, a GHC34,000 ironing hall funded from house dues has been commissioned in the school.

Source: Nhyira FM

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