Must Read: Full Presentation On Learning Grants For Public Basic Schools

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1. INTRODUCTION

Component 2 of GALOP aims at providing resources to beneficiary schools to:

▪ Strengthen learning support systems through learning grants.

▪ Strengthening SMCs for improved resources utilization and school-based management. 

Strengthening school support, management and resourcing under GALOP has three main activities namely:

▪ Learning grants to improve learning outcomes

▪ Support to school level monitoring and supervision

▪ Strengthen SMCs for enhanced citizen engagement

A manual has therefore being developed that sets out guidelines on:

▪ Disbursement, 

▪ Utilisation, 

▪ Accounting 

▪ And reporting on the Learning Grants.

2. LEARNING GRANTS

•Learning grants aim to ensure that the beneficiary schools have adequate funding to achieve minimum learning outcomes. 

•The learning interventions are expected to reach over 10,000 poorly performing public basic schools. 

•The grant will cover activities that will help to improve learning outcomes in the schools.

2.1 ELIGIBILITY FOR LEARNING GRANT:

For a school to be eligible to receive Learning Grant under GALOP, the School must satisfy the following criteria:

•Been registered by the GES as a Public Basic School; and 

•Must have been selected under the criteria used to select GALOP beneficiary Schools as outlined in the PIM.

2.1 ELIGIBILITY FOR LEARNING GRANT:

For a school to be eligible to receive Learning Grant under GALOP, the School must satisfy the following criteria:

•Been registered by the GES as a Public Basic School; and 

•Must have been selected under the criteria used to select GALOP beneficiary Schools as outlined in the PIM.

REGIONAL DISTRIBUTION OF SCHOOLS

2.2 DISBURSEMENT OF LEARNING GRANTS

2.1 ELIGIBILITY FOR LEARNING GRANT:

Conditions Precedent to Initial Receipt of Grant Funds 

The initial release of funds to beneficiary schools will be based on:

• been trained on the learning grant;

• notifying the MOE and GES of Account into which funds could be transferred;

• having an SMC which is democratically elected during SPAM or at Community General Assembly in place;

• having an approved SPIP;

• having a Capitation Grant account to receive Learning Grant funds and

• having the list of Authorized Signatories of the School Account (The appointment of the Signatories should be consistent with existing Legislations and Policies of the GES). 

2.2 DISBURSEMENT OF LEARNING GRANTS

The learning grants will be disbursed directly to school’s individual bank accounts through. 

▪The disbursement of the learning grant is conditioned on the conduct of school self-assessment through 

SPAM/Community General Assembly, development and approval of the SPIP, which constitutes performance contracts between the Headteacher, the CS and the District Director of Education. 

▪The process of SPIP development will be participatory, involving SMCs representing the community, Headteachers and teachers and will be submitted to the District Director for approval. 

2.2 DISBURSEMENT OF LEARNING GRANTS

Categories of Disbursement Base Grant:

2.2 DISBURSEMENT OF LEARNING GRANTS Type of School Distribution 

The disbursement of the learning grants will be made in two tranches within an academic year – in the first and second terms.

• The first term grant will be the Base grant, which will be an equal amount to all schools depending on the number of levels (KG, primary and JHS) as explained above.

• The second term disbursement will be based on the enrolment of the school (per capita of GHC 5). The third term will be used by the schools to prepare and submit the report and SPIP for the subsequentyear’s disbursement.

The total estimated allocations for schools will be transferred directly into each school’s Bank Account. Copies of the transfer instruction and the amounts will be issued to the DEOs and REOs.

The initial learning grant (base grant) to the beneficiary schools was to be disbursed at the beginning of the 2020/21 academic year (the beginning of first term in September). (PBC)

▪This will be based on historical data i.e. school’s data used in transfers made by the GOG under the Capitation Grant.

▪The second tranche was to be disbursed at the beginning of the second term in January 2021.

▪Prior to this disbursement the DEOs will provide a summarized report to the GES headquarters.

▪It is expected that headteachers of schools will submit accurate enrolment figures and other execution reports to their respective district directors by the end of November each year.

Subsequent disbursement requires at least 80% utilisation of the learning grants during the academic year. ( PBC)

▪Schools falling short of this requirement would be supported through training and coaching by the DEO to improve upon utilisation of funds and to qualify for further releases.

▪Additionally, schools should have received training on the SMC and the preparation of the Quo-SPIP.

▪Quo-SPIP is the learning oriented SPIP prepared and validated by the reconstituted SMC who have received above-mentioned training.

▪During the academic year 2020/2021, schools and SMCs are encouraged to revise SPIP as to Quo-SPIP after their SMC training.

▪The utilisation of the funds would be monitored by DEOs who have to collate annual expenditure reports from each school for onwards submission to GES HQ.

2.3 PROCESSES FOR THE DISBURSEMENT OF LEARNING GRANT

3. PROCESSES FOR UTILIZATION OF THE LEARNING GRANT

The processes of planning, disbursement, utilization and accounting for the learning grants in public schools is a continuous process, which constantly helps to improve quality educational delivery and learning outcomes as shown in the Figure in the next slide.

The grant implementation is cyclical in both theory and practice.

3.1 SCHOOL SELF-STUDY/ASSESSMENT (SSS/A) THROUGH 

SPAM/GENERAL ASSEMBLY

This stage seeks to help the beneficiary schools identify and analyze their SWOT in improving quality education delivery and learning outcomes.

The school self-study report is a product of the SSS/A and covers all critical areas including

i. increasing equitable access and participation in education; ii. improving quality of teaching and learning; iii. improving efficiency of school management, and iv. mainstream issues of life skill, health, etc.

It is designed to help school leadership build a dossier on the school they are managing.

3.1 SCHOOL SELF-STUDY/ASSESSMENT THROUGH SPAM/GENERAL ASSEMBLY

The school self-study is expected to be finalized after each SPAM or Community General Assembly – which is a platform for school accountability and help identify opportunities to improve performance and to learn from good practices. Community General Assembly consists of SMC members, Headteacher, teachers, parents and community members.

The School Self-Study report follows a structured format to help beneficiary schools undertake a comprehensive selfassessment. A guided format can be accessed at the Appendix 1 of the Manual.

3.2 PREPARATION OF LEARNING GRANT RESULTS STATEMENT 

(KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS – KPIs)

This is a very important stage of the implementation process where KPIs and targets, which measure progress can be related. These benchmarks are essential in assessing interventions that are working.

The Results Statement shall be the principal feed into the preparation of the Learning Grant Activities and the signing of Performance Contract. This set of benchmarks (Simplified KPIs template for KG, Primary & JHS) which are measurable and observable indicators shall serve as a reference point for any activity a beneficiary school undertakes and can be found at the Appendix 2 of this manual.

3.3 PREPARATION OF THE SCHOOL PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT PLAN 

This stage of the process is where a detailed plan and budget of activities are generated to address challenges and ultimately achieve the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and targets.

▪The self-assessment which was initiated in stage 1 (self-study) and the careful review of the previous KPIs and targets will inform the development of the SPIP annually.

▪It is important to note that the learning grant is to complement funds from other sources such as the capitation grant.

▪With this in mind, the SPIP is a comprehensive plan to help promote quality education delivery and learning outcome and not only for the utilization of the learning grant.

The set of templates to guide the preparation of the SPIP is in Appendix 3 of the manual.

3.4 APPROVAL OF THE SCHOOL PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT PLAN AND SIGNING OF PERFORMANCE CONTRACT

The SPIP is submitted to DEO at this stage where a thorough review is done by a team selected by the Director. The SPIP is then signed by the Director to approve it.

It is important to note that the signing of the SPIP by the Director constitutes the signing of a Performance Contract between the Directorate and the School or the Head. Please note that there will not be any need to organize any funfair to sign the Performance Contract.

3.4 APPROVAL OF THE SCHOOL PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT PLAN 

AND SIGNING OF PERFORMANCE CONTRACT

The signing of Performance Contract as described in Appendix 5 is a precondition for the execution of Annual Learning Grant Activities (ALGA).

▪All Headteachers of the beneficiary schools are expected to sign Performance Contract with their respective SISO and District Directors of Education.

▪The tri-partite Performance Contract will be signed in September every year.

3.5 EXTRACTION AND IMPLIMENTATION OF ANNUAL 

LEARNING GRANT ACTIVITIES

Activities selected from the SPIP to be executed by the Heads and teachers, with funds from the learning grants are referred to as Annual Learning Grant Activities (ALGA).

▪It is important to reemphasize that the SPIP is a comprehensive plan/proposal borne out of the self-study and the ALGA forms a subset of the SPIP.

▪In the Appendix 2 of the manual, a Menu of Activities is provided to help all beneficiary school leadership to select activities that contribute to improving learning outcome.

▪Appendix 4 provides templates for Costing.

3.5 IMPLEMENTATION OF LEARNING GRANT ACTIVITIES

This is a critical part of the processes for utilizing the Learning Grants. 

• All Learning Grant activities must strictly meet conditions regulating its utilization. 

• The Headteachers of the school is responsible for the implementation of the SPIP and the SMC will supervise the implementation process. 

• The Headteacher is required to involve teachers in the implementation process as a way of training them.

Appendix 6 provides guidelines on the execution of ALGA. It further helps school leadership identify prescribed and non-prescribed activities as well as vital documentation required for the monitoring of the implementation process.

3.6 MONITORING OF IMPLEMENTATION AND RESULTS

This is an ongoing process that generate information to inform decision making during project implementation. Routinely, information shall be collected and analyzed to track progress against set targets and check compliance to established standards.

 Figure 3 

3.7 MONITORING OF IMPLEMENTATION AND RESULTS Cont.

The Figure 3 above indicates a Logic Frame for monitoring.

For example,

▪The resources required to train teachers on reading proficiency is the input;

▪The INSET programme on the subject constitutes the activity;

▪The number/percentageof target group trained is the output;

▪While the number/percentage of pupils who can demonstrate improvement in reading proficiency is the outcome of the activity.

The monitoring process looks at all the stages to inform further action.

3.8 ACCOUNTING AND REPORTING OF EXPENDITURE AND RESULTS

This stage ends one school year utilization cycle and begins the planning and disbursement process of the next school year. It accounts for both financial and non – financial elements of the entire process that relates to expenditure and results. It helps school leadership and other stakeholders to demonstrate the following:

▪Adherence to the appropriate financial regulation, procedures and standards

▪Achievement against set targets.

3.8 ACCOUNTING AND REPORTING OF EXPENDITURE AND RESULTS

The tools for the financial aspects include;

▪Memos,

▪Payment vouchers,

▪Receipt books,

▪Honour certificates

▪and Execution reports (Appendices 7 and 8)

3.9 ACCOUNTING AND REPORTING OF EXPENDITURE AND RESULTS

Figure 4: Working Tools for Utilization of Learning Grant (Take from the PPT once updated)

4. ACTIVITY SELECTION AND COSTING

➢This section of the activities from the manual helps school leadership and all stakeholders to appreciate the activities that the school learning grant can be expended on and the procedures involved.

▪ The selection and costing of these activities is a vital exercise that requires careful consideration.

▪ The learning grants, though a complementary source of funding to help improve learning outcomes has some limits to the type of activities allowed.

➢The menu of activities outlined in Appendix 2 prescribed activities to consider. It provides guidelines to beneficiary schools and helps formulation of specific sub activities that contribute to the execution of the main activity.

➢It is also important for selectedactivities to be prioritized.

▪ Though numerous activities may be identified to help improve learning outcomes, budget for these activities are limited.

▪ Therefore, prioritization of activities is an essential step of activity selection and costing.

➢The templates to help in this exercise include ALGA (Appendix 6) and Activity Costing Sheet (Appendix4)

5. MANAGEMENT OF THE LEARNING GRANTS

5.1 TRAINING ON LEARNING GRANTS

This training workshops being organised for the headteachers of schools and SMC chairpersons and financial secretaries is on: ▪how to use the learning grant manual to facilitate

✓utilization,

✓accounting

✓and reporting of activities for timely disbursements, transparency and accountability.

This training being held first for the district level officers as master trainers who would in turn deliver training at the school level.

5.2 SUPPORT TO SCHOOL LEVEL MONITORING AND SUPERVISION

GALOP will resource the Districts to enable them to conduct training on ▪democratic election of SMC, 

▪learning grant utilization, 

▪SPIP, supervision and monitoring. 

The main interventions include the following: 

▪Developing training programs on learning grants, self-assessment, SPIP and performance contracts;

▪Organizing training, coaching and school monitoring;

▪Organizing cluster-based review meetings to encourage and share best practices, knowledge and innovation between cluster of schools; and 

▪Monitoring and supervising approved activities.

5.2 SUPPORT TO SCHOOL LEVEL MONITORING AND SUPERVISION Cont.

DEOs will be expected to:

• Support schools in developing and implementing SPIPs;

• Approve SPIP;

• Monitor and evaluate the usage of learning and capitation grants and activities based on approved SPIP;

• Ensure INSET sessions are conducted in accordance to the CPD;

• Ensure that SISOs visit each school twice a term;

• Ensure that SISOs arranges cluster-based review meetings to encourage and share best practices, knowledge and innovation between cluster of schools at least once per annum;

5.2 SUPPORT TO SCHOOL LEVEL MONITORING AND SUPERVISION Cont.

•Ensure SISOs compile school reports on the utilisation of learning grants and implemented activities based upon planned SPIP and submit to the DEO;

•Compile district level reports on schools’ utilisation of learning grants and implemented activities based upon planned SPIP and submit to REO;

•Analyse correlation between activities implemented and usage of learning grants, and the impact in order to encourage most efficient and effective activities

5.2 SUPPORT TO SCHOOL LEVEL MONITORING AND SUPERVISION Cont.

• Compile number of SISO visits to schools and submit to the REO; and 

• Ensure that reassigning of teachers trained under the beneficiary schools are reduce to the barest minimum. 

Reassignment of teachers should be within beneficiary schools. This is to ensure continuity of INSET and GALOP activities.

There will be annual school level refresher training on GALOP, and related project activities arranged through INSET model. The districts will be resourced annually to carry out these activities.

 The role of the REOs will be to oversee the implementation of the approved activities to be carried out by the District Education Offices (DEO) in their respective regions. The REOs will support newly created districts or where additional technical support will be needed to carry out activities to improve learning outcomes.

 The DEO will support the implementation of the learning grant activities. The DEOs will oversee the preparation of the school’s self-assessment, SPIP, performance targets and proper and timely utilization of grants. The DEOs will fund cluster-level meetings for heads and SMCs chairpersons at least once a year.

 The beneficiary schools are the key entities for the implementation of the activities under the learning grants. The schools will prepare self-assessment reports, SPIPs and sign performance contracts with their respective district Directors of Education. The schools are expected to submit enrolment figures and execution reports between June and July every year to their respective DEOs. This is done in order to facilitate disbursement of subsequent releases to schools achieving utilization rate of 80 percent and above. 

5.3 KEY PLAYERS TO MANAGE GRANTS TO SCHOOLS AT 

THE DISTRICT LEVEL

•District Director of Education

•Head Finance and Administration

•District Accountant

•Budget Officer

•SISO (Circuit Supervisor)

•Internal Auditor

•Head of Supervision

5.4 KEY PLAYERS TO MANAGE THE GRANT AT THE SCHOOL LEVEL

•Headteacher 

•Assistant Headteacher 

•SMC Chairperson

•SMC Financial Secretary 

5.5 ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE KEY PLAYERS

A. Headquarters Director-General 

• Provide school data to MOF;

• Apply for the release of the funds; and 

• Ensure timely transfer of funds to the schools and inform DEOs accordingly.

Director Basic Education

• Provides and ensures periodic review of guidelines to meet pressing issues;

• Provides technical support to the REO on all facets of the guidelines;

• Periodic monitoring the implementation of the SPIP; and 

• Coordinate the disbursement of the funds to the Districts.

B. Regional Director of Education:

• Provides technical support to the DEOs; and 

• Constitutes a Regional Monitoring Team (Supervision, Accountant and Internal Auditor and Budget Officers) to monitor the implementation of learning grant in schools. 

C. District 

Metro/Municipal/District Director of Education:

• Provide overall oversight and support for the effective disbursementand utilization of grants to Public Basic Schools;

• Provides technical support to schools for the implementation of all aspects of the learning grant;

• Work with Headteachers of schools and SISOs to agree on Annual Targets to guide the preparation of SPIP;

C. District 

Metro/Municipal/District Director of Education:

• Ensures compliance with the guidelines for the preparation of SPIP;

• Ensures the bank accounts details of the schools are forwarded to GES Headquarters;

• Ensures all schools comply with all timelines (submission of enrollment figures, approval of SPIP);

• Approves the SPIP for each school in the District;

• Ensures that the activities indicated in the SPIP are implemented;

• Ensures that financial and activity reports for the previous tranche have been submitted and approved;

• Collate Bi-Annual District Learning Grant utilization report to REO and GES headquarters; and

• Sign Performance Contract with SISOs and Headteachers of Schools.

C. District ii) Head of Finance & Administration:

• Liaise with SISOs to ensure that all schools in the district submit SPIP to the DEOs for vetting.

iii) Budget Officer

• Vet SPIP to ensure that they are in accordance with guidelines; and

• Submits vetted SPIP to the director for approval through Head of finance and Administration.

iv) District Accountant:

• Support the collation of bi-annual District Learning Grant utilization report.

v) District Internal Auditor 

• Ensure internal controls provided in the learning grant manual are being adhered to.

D. SISOs:

▪Provide support in SPIP preparation at the school level before submission to the DEOs;

▪Monitor implementation of SPIP in the schools;

▪Ensures that the headteachers, teachers and SMCs are actively involved in the preparation of the SPIP; and 

▪Sign Performance Contract with the Headteachers and District Directors.

E. SMC

SMC Chairperson:

▪Ensure that the SMC participates in the process of preparation and approval of the SPIP;

▪Ensure accountability and transparency in the utilization of the grant to the community;

▪Report to the community on progress of activity implementation through the Community General Assembly;

▪Endorses SPIP before it is submitted to the DEOs; and ▪Monitor implementation of the SPIP in the school.

E. SMC

SMC Financial Secretary:

▪Provide technical advice in the preparation of the SPIP;

▪Provide support to the Headteacher in accounting to the community on the utilization of the grant;

▪Ensures proper utilization of the Learning Grant;

▪Manage all SMC resource except grants from government;

•Details of the roles and responsibilities of SMCs has been attached as Appendix 10

F. School level Headteacher:

▪Organize SPAM/General Assembly with the Support of SMC to mobilize all stakeholders at community level;

▪Prepares SPIP with the teachers of the school and SMC members based on discussion at SPAM/Community General Assembly;

▪Displays approved SPIP, details of progress of SPIP activities and usage of grants and resources mobilized by community on the schools notice board;

▪Co-Signatory along with the Assistant Headteacher to the School’s bank account;

▪Ensure proper utilization and accountability of all funds received by the school; and 

▪Ensure that SPIP addresses targets as indicated in the School Report Card and SPAM.

F. School level

•Assistant Headteacher:

▪Takes part in the preparation of SPIP with other teachers; 

▪Organizes all teachers to submit activities in the preparation of the SPIP;

▪Helps in the implementation of SPIP activities in the school; and 

▪Co-Signatory along with the Headteacher to the School’s bank account.

6. OFFENCES, SANCTIONS & REWARDS

6.1  OFFENCES

▪Any act of omission, commission or contravention with the guidelines as stated in the manual and the legal framework governing the public financial management constitutes an offence. Examples include but not limited to: non-performing Headteachers in grant utilization and reporting, delays in the submission of enrollment figures, inflating enrollment figures, illegitimate deductions at source, misapplication, misappropriation and embezzlement of funds.

6.2  SANCTIONS

▪Applicable sanctions to the above mention offences may include but not limited to: demotion in grade/rank, removal from post, suspension, interdiction or dismissal.

6.3  REWARDS

▪Headteachers who administer learning grants creditably and according to the guidelines shall be accorded the due recognition in form of awards (certificate, citation etc.).

7. CONCLUSION

The learning grant and all other school grants are meant to assist in effectively running of the schools. The MOE and the GES expect schools to improve their performance.

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