General News of Wed, 22 Feb 20176
Free SHS won’t push private schools out of business – GNAT assures
Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has allayed fears of the Conference of Heads of Private Second Cycle Schools (CHOPSS) as government begins the free Senior High School (SHS) policy.
The policy according to President Akufo-Addo will begin in September and the association believes the implementation of the police will push them out of business since parents might withdraw their children from their schools.
The flagship education policy would begin in the next academic year with an ambitious target to exempt students from the payment of admission, utility, examination and other allied fees.
But the Public Relations Officer of CHOPSS, Naphtali Kyei Baffour, said the policy when implemented will put them out of business.
“…it is an undeniable fact that the private sector is the engine of growth for development. Therefore any policy that seeks to collapse the activities of the private sector should be reconsidered…” he stated.
In support, the Eastern regional deputy Secretary for GNAT, Peter Boateng said the policy will rather make private schools competitive.
According to him, the free SHS policy is the best to ever happen to the country if only Akufo-Addo-Bawumia’s government have good financial basis to support the program.
Moreover, Mr Boateng stressed that, the private schools can only voice out against the policy if the government promises to match the standard of the public schools at par with that of the private schools since that will cut down the percentage of enrolment into the private sector.
“It’s a lie that free SHS will push the private schools out of business. The private school owners can only say the government is pushing them out of business if only the gov’t has promised to match the standard of the public schools at par with that of the private schools. This is the only time I will side with them…” he explained.
Mr Boateng further maintained that, the private schools are well resourced and structured than the public schools, the reason why some parents will always choose them over the public hence instead of government determining their fess; they utilize the Parent-Teacher Association to decide on fees.
“If I’m not afraid, the most beautiful form of exploitation is parents who take their children to private schools, where PTA decides on fees. Can they convince us that private schools take lesser fees than public? So how come would it worry the private school when the public becomes free? Some of us take our children to public schools not because we cannot afford it…” he said on Accra based Ahotor fm.