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Sanitary pads not a priority – teachers say

The Coalition of Concern Teachers has described government’s decision to use part of a $156 million World Bank loan to buy free sanitary pads for school girls in deprived areas as ‘a step in the wrong direction’ adding that it is not a pressing issue.
According to the group, at a time when the country’s educational system is near collapse, it is embarrassing that money is being pumped into such ‘a wasteful venture’.
Parliament on Wednesday approved a $156 million 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 buy free sanitary pads for school girls.
However, the distribution of the pads has ignited a public debate with many questioning the importance of such initiative.
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 said he did not understand why government would invest in pads when 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 asked.
“We are social partners so government should have involved us; we would have given a more important alternative to the sanitary pad,” he stated.

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