… Over Mahama Community SHS project
The Member of Parliament (MP) for the Ashaiman Constituency in the Greater Accra Region is unhappy with the delay of construction works on the government’s Community Day Senior High School (SHS) in his constituency.
Hon Ernest Henry Norgbey was, however, angry with the contractor because the slow pace of construction works on the project would consequently affect quality education, as prospective students cannot afford to travel outside the area to further their education.
This inadvertently slows down governments intention to kick-start the school with enrolment for the 2017/18 academic year this October, would not be materialised.
The MP, therefore, expressed his support to the government’s threat to terminate the contract with the contractor, Messrs Mega Zillion, if work on the Community SHS remained at a standstill in the next three months.
Hon. Norgbey made these comments with The Republic after putting a question to the Minister of Education on the floor of parliament last Friday.
He wanted to know from the Minister of Education when the construction of the Community Day Secondary School, sited at Ashaiman Community 22 will be completed.
In response to the question, the Minister of Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempreho, said that the government is likely to terminate the contract on the grounds that the contractor has been inactive on the job.
According to the Education Minister, “the Ministry is taking steps to terminate and re-award the contract to another Contractor and have the project completed by the end of year 2017.”
“The project has delayed mainly due to sluggishness on the part of the contractor. The supervising Consultant, Messrs Procurement and Project Management Limited, has recommended termination of the contract on grounds of poor performance,” the minister added.
Tracing the genesis of the project, Dr. Opoku Prempeh, aka Napo, said the project was awarded on contract to Messrs Mega Zillion in May 2014, by the John Mahama-led administration at a contract sum of GHc 5,376,527.22 to be completed in 18 calendar months, (November 2016), but the project is yet to be completed.
“Mr. Speaker, the project is one of the 124 Community Secondary School projects initiated by the previous government to expand access at the Senior High School level across the country with funding from the GETFund and the World Bank,” the Education Minister noted.
He told the House that, “the project is about 59% complete and the total amount paid in relation to work done so far amounts to GHc 3,222,576.27.”
Nevertheless, Mr. Norgbey told The Republic, he agreed with the position taken by the Ministry to terminate and re-award the contract on the stated grounds, but urged the government to speed up the process with assurance that the project is completed to facilitate an increase in enrolment in secondary school.
Currently, he said, the Ashaiman municipality has only one day secondary school and about 213 basic schools, 190 of them privately owned and the rest 23 being public owned, with limited teaching and learning facilities.
This, he noted, calls for the early completion of the community day secondary school so more students who complete the junior high school could access the community secondary school, stating, “it will alleviate the plight of parents and guardians who have had to send their wards outside the municipality accompanied by cost of expenditure.”
The MP also expressed his dissatisfaction at the minister’s response to his questions, noting, the Education Minister failed to give a timeline for the completion of the project.
He told the paper that, the timely competition of the project and that of others around the country would further improve the quality education in the country.
While urging the constituents to exercise restraint in demands for developmental projects, Hon. Norgbey assured them of his continued lobbying to the government to bring more development to the constituency.
He also urged school children to take their education seriously, as it is the only means by which they could become good future leaders and contribute for what the nation is catering for their education.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/ Felix Engsalige Nyaaba