The Coalition of Concern Teachers has described as misplaced priority government’s decision to use part of a 156 million dollar-World Bank loan to acquire free sanitary pads for school girls in deprived areas.
According to the group, at a time when the country’s educational system is near collapse, it is quite embarrassing that investments are being pumped into such ‘a wasteful venture’.
Parliament on Wednesday approved a 156 million dollar World Bank loan facility to finance the Ghana Secondary School Education Improvement Project.
The loan will among other things be used to fund the construction of community Senior High Schools across the country, provide scholarships for students in deprived communities and the distribution of free sanitary pads to school girls.
However, the distribution of the pads has ignited a public debate with many questioning the importance of such initiative.
The Education Ministry has mounted a strong defense of its decision insisting, it is part of effort to improve enrollment and promote personnel hygiene especially among adolescent school girls in deprived areas across the country.
But on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen programme on Thursday, the National President of the Coalition of Concern Teachers, Ernest Opoku said there are more pressing issues confronting schools in the rural areas and “sanitary pad is not one of them”.
He indicated that in most schools in deprived areas, their greatest need is teaching and learning materials and not this “big joke”.
Mr. Opoku could not fathom why government will invest in pads when in fact school children in rural areas study under trees.
“We can’t afford common chalk and yet we are going to spend this money to distribute sanitary pads? He quizzed.
Ernest Opoku bemoaned what he says is a deliberate ploy by government to always relegate teachers to the background when such decisions are being taken.
“We are social partners so government should have involved us; we would have given a more important alternative to the sanitary pad,” he stated.