General News of Thu, 14 Sep 201717

We'II lay off graduate teachers over free SHS - Private schools

An Executive Member and the Central regional chairman for the Conference of Private Second Cycle Schools (CHOPSS), Mr. Fred Asare is insisting that, government must expand the coverage of the free senior high school to cover them as well.

Speaking in an interview with Kwame Tutu on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, he said government should rather allocate the funds for the free SHS to the beneficiaries so they will choose between the private and public schools.

He told the host, if that was done, the challenges encountered with the placement would have been prevented. He lamented why government has neglected the private schools despite their collaborations in the past.

He gave the hint that private second cycle schools will have no option than to lay off graduate teachers in their schools should government fail to address their concerns.

Mr. Asare said, CHOPSS has engaged with the Ministry of Education and government on the implementation of the policy ''and so we are surprised that we have been neglected. When asked why private schools charge exorbitant fees as compared to public schools, he explained, we have different private schools.

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We have those that charge in dollars because they write foreign exams. We also have the main stream private schools with moderate fees because we all write WASSCE just any other public school.

Our fees are moderate,’’ he stressed. He also suggested that government can subsidize the fees charged by CHOPSS. At a press conference yesterday [Wednesday], CHOPSS expressed its disappointment with the effect the policy is having on admissions in private schools, with reports that enrollment of first-years has dropped significantly.

National Secretary of CHOPSS, Joseph Dzamesi, said the free SHS policy has rendered them jobless. “What is to happen to the millions of Ghana cedis that have been invested into our schools. What is to happen to 10,000 plus Ghanaian workers who are employed in our schools,” he questioned.

“Our schools should be tagged private and the parents should be informed that when a private school is selected, the students would have to pay the school fees,” Mr. Dzamesi stated.

“With this, a student who may not be happy with his or her placement or a student who is not able to find a school that he or she likes may select a private school on the website and go to that private school.”

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