The Director General of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Professor Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa, has clarified that all payments in relation to the academic intervention (Extra Classes) released by the government are to attract tax deduction of 10 percent.
According to him the monies were to be deducted by the paying officers at the individual schools and remitted to the Ghana Revenue Authority at the end of all payments.
The government has released GH¢56million to cater for the cost of academic intervention (extra classes) organized for students in public Senior High Schools (SHS) in the country.
The amount was for the first semester of the 2018/2019 academic year and also covered the cost of the special intervention made for final year students whose date of reopening was brought forward to January 5 from 25 to enable them prepare adequately for their final examination.
However, the disbursement of the monies to individual beneficiaries had generated some level of furore, following some 10 percent deduction by some bursars at some of schools as withholding tax.
Speaking to the Ghanaian Times in Accra on a revised disbursement plan, Prof. Opoku-Amankwa said the new plan had become necessary to bring clarity on how the funds were to be disbursed, and also address some of the nagging issues that had emerged following the release of the money by the government.
He said the formula for disbursement still remained 80 percent for teaching staff while the remaining 20 percent was for non-teaching staff.
In addition, he explained that 60 percent of the amount for the teaching staff was to be shared equally among all teachers, after which 20 percent of the amount would be disbursed, based on the number of contact hours spent by a teacher with the students.
“The remaining 20 percent of that of the teaching staff is reserved for the heads of the various schools and it must be disbursed in a hierarchical order to cover the head teacher, assistant head teachers, senior house masters and mistresses in that order,” he added.
For non-teaching staff, he said 50 percent of the 20 percent allocated to them was to serve as the base rate for all beneficiaries with priority given to the kitchen staff
Prof. Opoku-Amankwa said the GES had so far disbursed GH¢52.6million to the schools which had submitted all the necessary documentations for payment out of the GH¢56million, stressing that “Some of the schools have not submitted the necessary documentation but their monies would be released to them immediately they satisfy the necessary preconditions.”
Last year, the government announced an academic intervention grant of GH¢50 per student as part of measures to replace fees for extra classes and other learning initiatives required to be paid by parents.
The intervention was to ensure that no student was denied access and also serve as an incentive for the teachers in the improvement and access to quality and equitable education for all.
Furthermore, the government had also cleared the capitation grant and Senior High Schools (SHS) Technical Vocational Educational Training (TVET) subsidy of GH¢8.6million and GH¢28 million which had been outstanding since 2016 respectively.
BY CLIFF EKUFUL