Fate Of Students Of Special Schools Uncertain

The fate of students of special schools hangs in the balance, following the inability of the Ministry of Finance to release feeding grants to the schools for them to begin academic work. Special schools were to have reopened for the new academic year on September 15 but feeding grants had not been released by that date. The situation has compelled the heads of the schools to put the reopening on hold until the funds are released. The leadership of the Conference of Heads of Special Schools (COHESS), at a meeting with the educational authorities in Accra last Tuesday, was given the assurance that funds would be released for academic work next week. A check conducted by the Daily Graphic revealed that the Controller and Accountant-General’s Department had completed its input, pending approval from the Ministry of Finance. There was a pathetic scene at the Cape Coast School for the Deaf and Blind (Cape Deaf) when the Daily Graphic visited the school yesterday. Students who had reported to school, accompanied by their parents, had to return home because, according to the school authorities, there was no money to feed them. Drama Drama unfolded when some creditors and suppliers, whom the school had owed since last term, besieged the school, demanding their money from the school. Feeding grant per student per day in the special schools is GH¢2.20. The government released a little below half of the grant to the special schools last term. The Principal of Cape Deaf, Mr Setumte Ametewee, expressed worry over what he described as the “tradition of being borrowers all the time”. He said it was unfortunate that “those whose plight must occupy us are rather being treated with disdain, while their able counterparts are enjoying their academic work”. He said students of the school were badly affected by the constant delay in their reopening day, adding that it had been scoring zero per cent in external examinations over the years because of such developments. “They write the same examinations with their able-bodied counterparts,” Mr Ametewee stressed. He appealed to the authorities to pay serious attention to the plight of the young people because “they have the potential to make it in life”.