No privatisation of public schools – Govt refutes allegation by GNECC
The government has refuted allegations by the Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition (GNECC) that it was planning to privatise public schools.
It has, therefore, challenged the coalition to substantiate its privatisation claim or apologise to Ghanaians for misleading them on a non-existent issue.
It is, recalled that the GNECC in a press conference in Accra by Mr Kofi Asare, Chairman of the Coalition, on March 4, 2019, kicked against the Ghana Partnership Schools (GPS) Project scheduled for implementation in September.
The network, made up of more than 200 civil society organisations in pre-tertiary education, was of the view that the project was not the best approach to improve learning outcomes in schools.
But speaking to the Ghanaian Times in an interview yesterday, the Director of Communication at the Ministry of Education, Ekow Vincent Assafuah said, the government was only seeking to strengthen partnership with other institutions to deliver quality education.
Among other things, he said that the partnership would curb indiscipline in the education sector and improve supervision.
Mr Assafuah noted that the government had never contemplated privatisation of schools in its 2016 manifesto.
He said that in 2018, when the Ministry met GNECC, the discussion was on partnership and not privatisation of schools.
Accordingly, page 108 of the party’s manifesto captured: “we would build an effective partnership with religious bodies, civic organisations and the private sector in the delivery of quality education. These partnerships also include the areas of management, supervision and training of teachers in their unit.”
He said the Ministry had constantly engaged with stakeholders on the partnership discussion, explaining that the position of the Coalition on the issue was disingenuous.
The Communication Director indicated that the president of GNECC sits on the Ministerial Advisory Board and therefore he has easy access to senior management for cross-checking information that may come his way.
On claims of non payment of capitation grant, Mr Assafuah said government had cleared two years outstanding arrears it inherited and that it had only two terms arrears to clear.
Read the full statement below
RE ; PRIVATIZATION OF PRE TERTIARY EDUCATION/ GHANA PARTNERSHIP SCHOOLS PROJECT.
On the 4th of March 2019, the Ghana National Education Campaign coalition (GNEEC) addressed a press conference here in Accra and made statements in relation to certain critical issues, including a number of misrepresentations.
GNECC sought to create impressions as if they reflected the position of the Ministry of Education; key among them is what GNECC calls privatization of pre- tertiary education.
Over the years, the Ministry has had a cordial partnership with GNECC as an important stakeholder in education. Indeed, the President of GNECC sits on the Ministerial Advisory Board. However, the Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition ( GNECC ) chose to address a press conference on an issue that is non-existent.
It must be put on record that when the Ministry met GNECC in 2018, the discussion was on partnership schools and NOT privatisation of schools. The government has never contemplated privatization of schools. In its 2016 manifesto, page 108, which reads "We will build an effective partnership with religious bodies, civic organizations and the private sector in the delivery of quality education. This partnership will also include areas of management, supervision and training of teachers in their units*."
The Ministry want to indicate that, discussions are advanced and ongoing with religious bodies and it seek an appropriate regulatory framework to enable this manifesto pledge to be fulfilled.
The ministry challenges GNECC to provide evidence to the privatization claim in their press conference.
The Ministry is particularly surprised by the conduct of the President of GNECC, who sits on the Ministerial Advisory Board and therefore has easy access to senior management for cross-checking information that may have come his way.
It is the Ministry's position that the GNECC President must either substantiate his privatisation claim or choose the honourable path of an unqualified apology and an introspection over whether his position on the Ministerial Advisory Board remains tenable.
Ekow Vincent Assafuah