The Conference of Heads of Private Secondary Schools (CHOPSS) has hinted that their exclusion from the implementation of the Free SHS policy and Double Track System will result in massive job loses in the educational sector.
CHOPSS believes the current situation if not reconsidered could render about 10, 000 teachers and educational workers unemployed and close to 250 private schools shut down.
PRO of CHOPSS, Naphtali Kyei-Baffour explained that government wouldn't have had to introduce the Double Track System as a desperate measure to accommodate the huge number of students to be enrolled under the Free SHS had it included private schools.
He pointed out that assuming each school takes averagely 500 students, the 250 private schools on the verge of collapse could absorb more than two-thirds of the extra students for which reason the new policy has been introduced.
Speaking to www.Ghanaweb.com in an interview after a forum on the theme "Unpacking the Double Track System: Implications for Sustainable Financing and Prospects for Educational Quality in Ghana" Kyei-Baffour stressed the impact private secondary schools could make in ameliorating the challenge the country is faced with.
"The full headache of the Double Track is as a result of the 181, 000 candidates, where they are going to be. You have 946 senior High Schools out of that you have 696 that is public so it means that the 250 is private senior High Schools. With the 181, 000 if you should put on the average 500 students to private Senior High Schools it means that you have 125000 that has already been absorbed. Some of them have the capacity to absorb more than the 500 students. So the headache of 181, 000 is no longer going to exist. If we allow over 250 schools to collapse we are talking about 10, 000 teaching staff that are going to be rendered unemployed." the PRO of CHOPSS highlighted.
Naphtali Kyei-Baffour argued the grading system was biased against the private schools adding that the current method of selecting Senior High Schools relegates them to the background.
He noted that private schools are not included in the categorisation of schools based on alphabets but are put in a separate category making the schools unappealing to students.
Kyei-Baffour emphasised the CHOPSS is proposing a system where no school is classified but all schools are made available for students to select from.
"Psychologically the way the schools have been categorised does not give students interest to choose the private school because you have grade schools, Grade A, B and C and then private schools also come. So in selecting psychologically every child will want to select from Grade A or B. Why not take away these grading, open it for students to select any 5 schools" the PRO insisted.