General News of Thu, 20 Apr 201710

Stop charging, sacking final year students over fees - GES warns

School heads who charge unapproved fees will be sanctioned

Public Relations Officer of the Ghana Education Service says school heads who are charging final year students unapproved fees will be sanctioned.

Reverend Jonathan Bettey says the charging of third term fees has not been authorized by the Education ministry.

The school heads are threatening that final year students who fail to pay their fees will not be allowed to sit for this year’s West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE).

This comes three weeks after the Ministry of Education issued a statement signed by the Chief Director, Enoch Cobbinah directing school heads to desist from preventing final year students from writing exams because of unpaid fees. However, it appears some school heads are flagrantly disregarding the directive.

At the Adjena Senior High Technical School at Asuogyaman in the Eastern region for instance, defaulters have not been fed for a week and are only allowed access to the exam hall only after an hour into the paper.

A student who spoke to Joy News on anonymity said the Senior Housemistress and Assistant Headmaster were responsible for this.

"They said that we should enter the hall and write because we will eventually pay the monies. We could not finish our paper before we heard stop work," the student said.

According to the student, the junior classes have vacated leaving only the final year students and only those who have paid their fees are being fed by the school.

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The students are unsure if they will be allowed entry into the exams hall by the school when they go to write Christian Religious Studies (CRS) paper. Another student claim although this was discussed with the parents at the PTA meeting, the matter ended in a stalemate, "but the headmistress said that was instruction from government."

"We would like them [government] to reduce the money for us. Even some of our parents are burdened financially as some of us are still owing arrears from last term.

Joy News understand that a similar situation persists at Fijai SHS in the Western Region, Presbyterian Boys SHS (Presec) at Legon in Accra and many other schools across the country.

A parent who has a ward in Fijai SHS told Joy News a teacher in the school with whom he usually communicates with told him the students have been given a bill for next term.

He said he inquired for more information as parents had paid for exam registration and everything.

"So he forwarded a copy to me on WhatsApp but it was not clear to me because my ward finishes this term and she won't be in the school for next term," the surprised parent said.

He is appealing to authority to step in and stop the extortion.

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