The government, through the Ministry of Education, has procured 54,445 metal bunk beds, 108,890 mattresses and 36,240 staff common room chairs for distribution to selected senior high schools (SHSs) across the country.
The items will be distributed to beef up the furniture supply in senior high, technical, vocational and agricultural schools.
Briefing the Daily Graphic, the Head of Communications at the Free SHS Secretariat, Mrs Josberta Gyan Kwakye, explained that the choice of metal, instead of wood, for beds in recent times was to fight bed bug infestation in second-cycle schools.
She said beyond that, the Ministry of Education was embarking on routine fumigation in schools to fight the bed bug menace.
The beneficiary schools are the Ejisuman SHS, Achinakrom SHS, Sakafia Islamic SHS, Oppong Memorial SHS, Gyaama Pensan SHTS, Dadease Agric SHS, Bechem Presby SHS, Odumaseman SHS, Bole SHS, Walewale SHS, Bawku SHTS, Sandema SHTS, Three Town SHS, Aveyime-Battor SHS, Vakpo SHS, Have Technical Institute, Half Assini SHS, among others.
Additionally, procurement activities have started for the distribution of 214,050 mono desks and they are expected to be completed by January 2020.
Mrs Gyan Kwakye indicated that the government had, since the implementation of the free SHS programme, started the construction of over 804 facilities in 669 second-cycle schools to expand facilities in the various SHSs.
“The projects are at various levels of completion,” she said, adding that some of them had since been completed and handed over to the respective schools.
She explained that the completed projects included a girls’ dormitory for the Bawku SHTS in the Upper East Region, a 12-unit classroom block for the Adanwomase SHS, a 12-unit classroom block for the St Thomas Aquinas SHS, a 12-unit classroom block for the Kumasi Anglican SHS and a dormitory block for the Juaben SHS.
Mrs Gyan Kwakye further indicated that the government had also released funds for the completion of all old GETFund projects in the schools, adding that over 804 new projects had also been initiated.
In 2018, the Ministry of Education procured and distributed 96,413 mono desks, 32,171 dining hall tables and chairs, 12,953 bunk beds, 3,038 staff tables and chairs, white marker boards, science laboratory stools and other accessories to schools nationwide.
Since the implementation of the flagship programme, the government has received a lot of backlash from sections of the public and the media over reported cases of congestion and inadequate supply of furniture in some SHSs.
The government, subsequently, put in place measures to mitigate the challenges that confronted the implementation of the laudable programme.